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Johnson Tiles MBO completes

20 May The management buyout of Johnson Tiles UK announced last month has now completed.

Johnson Tiles have been made in the UK since 1901 but not any more
Johnson Tiles have been made in the UK since 1901 but not any more

Norcros plc, the listed bathroom and kitchen products manufacturer, completed the sale of Johnson Tiles UK to its management team on 19th May 2024.

The trade and assets have now been transferred to Johnson Tiles Limited, a new company established by managing director Stephen Dixon, commercial director Rich Kelsall and procurement director Jason Bridges.

Under the deal, announced on 25th April, the Johnson Tiles management team is paying £1m to take ownership of the business, with a further earn out (described as ‘modest’) being dependent on the future equity value of the business. Both become due in April 2028.

Johnson Tiles was founded by Harry Johnson in Stoke-on-Trent in 1901.

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However, the new owners are closing the manufacturing facility in Tunstall and laying off 105 production staff. Instead, Johnson Tiles will now become a distribution rather than manufacturing business, outsourcing production and importing tiles from overseas.

Managing director Stephen Dixon said last month: ”We are, of course, making this announcement with very mixed feelings, acutely aware of what this means for our colleagues and what it says about UK manufacturing as a whole. It is with a heavy heart that we are looking to stop production at the Stoke plant but the cost of making tiles in this country – despite ongoing investment – has become increasingly unsustainable.

“We have a great sourcing business and, together with our strong design and customer service capabilities, we are well placed for the future. This deal secures Johnson Tiles position as a leading UK designer and supplier of tiles, as well as ensuring we remain a significant employer in the Staffordshire region.”

Norcros chief executive Thomas Willcocks said: “This sale will allow Norcros to focus on and accelerate the execution of our growth strategy. Johnson Tiles UK has been a long-standing partner of the group and we thank them for their significant contribution. We wish the managing director, Stephen Dixon, and the team every success for the future."

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