Johnson Tiles announces MBO and closure of UK factory

Johnson Tiles has undertaken a management buyout, acquiring the business from Norcros Plc, and announced plans  to close its UK factory.

29 Apr, 24

Ceramic and porcelain coverings manufacturer Johnson Tiles has undertaken a management buyout and announced plans to close its UK factory.

Johnson Tiles MBO with closure of UK factory

Operational in Stoke-on-Trent since 1901, Johnson Tiles said it offered the best way to protect the long-term success of the historic brand through challenging market conditions and the next stage of growth.

The UK management team – managing director Stephen Dixon, commercial director Rich Kelsall and procurement director Jason Bridges – have acquired the business from Norcros and will assume full control from the end of May 2024, subject to the necessary legal protocol.

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As part of this process, and following a review of the company’s existing operations,  Johnson Tiles has also announced proposals to move to an entirely outsourced business model.

It means the company will close its manufacturing facility in Tunstall, impacting up to 105 roles, with its staff currently in the consultation process.

Managing director Stephen Dixon commented: ”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.”

Steered by the UK in-house design team and building on its import business, Johnson Tiles will work alongside partners across the world.

According to the company, it will be able to design-match any UK manufactured products, to match ongoing project requirements.

This is, in part, due to Johnsons’ long-standing commitment to carrying higher-than-average stock levels.

Stephen Dixon continued: “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.”

CEO of Norcros plc Thomas Willcocks said: “We are pleased for Stephen and the management team and believe this agreement is in the best interests of staff, customers and shareholders of both Johnson Tiles and Norcros.

“We are committed to supporting the business as it makes this transition and look forward to partnering on opportunities in the bathroom and kitchen markets.”