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Gloucestershire Business News

Vision for future as Norville Group bought from administration

The Norville Group has been saved after being bought out of administration by Bath-based Inspecs.

The deal for the lens manufacturing arm of the family-run Gloucester business is believed to be worth around £2.4million

Norville Group entered administration last week with 120 jobs at risk in the county and smaller sites in Bolton, Seaham and Livingston with staff launching a fund-raising campaign in a bid to save the business.

Norville Opticians was bought last month by The Hakim Group, the largest group of independent opticians in the UK, with nine shops across the county continuing to operate under the Norville name.

And now Inspecs has completed the purchase of The Norville Group from administrators BDO.

The deal includes the £1.2million freehold property for the Gloucester laboratory, stock, plant, intellectual property and contracts.

Inspecs said it intends to retain part of the existing management team and employees.

Chief executive Robin Totterman told trade website Optician: "There is no doubt that Norville is an excellent fit for the group.

"With Savile Row (Algha) and Norville, we have combined the two oldest and most respected British optical brands - frame maker with lens maker.

"With Inspecs' global frame manufacturing, marketing and sale capabilities, we are continuing to grow our vertically integrated business model."

He continued: "We are also taking this opportunity to integrate our two UK manufacturing sites, and soon we will offer a bespoke Savile Row lens collection to accompany the frames

"We look forward to welcoming the Norville team into the heart of the Inspecs group and working together to create a truly cutting-edge integrated eyewear business."

Norville's management accounts for the year to December 31 showed unaudited revenue of £11.8million and a loss before tax of £790,000 with net assets of £4.9million including the freehold property.

The Norville Group has been operating in Gloucestershire since 1898 with chairman Frank Norville continuing the family name at the helm of the company.

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