Deal saves Silentnight from collapse

Britain’s biggest bed maker Silentnight has been rescued from collapse, safeguarding more than 1,000 jobs including 250 in Batley.

HIG Europe, the European arm of global private equity investment firm HIG Capital, has agreed to buy Silentnight’s business interests, including its brands, after the firm was put into administration. The Lancashire-based group, which faced a £100m black hole in its pension fund, went into administration after it failed to win enough support for a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA).

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The move protects the jobs of the group’s 1,250 staff, but it is bad news for pensions safety net the Pension Protection Fund, which is likely to have to take over the pension fund and its £100m deficit.

Silentnight had proposed a CVA to address an “unserviceable level of historic debt” and its pension deficit, following the withdrawal of credit facilities by its bank.

Creditor had been due to vote on the CVA this week, but despite getting support from suppliers, employees and HM Revenue & Customs, the group failed to win the backing of the Pension Protection Fund, its largest creditor.