Essex based distributor East Central, once one of the largest telecoms distributors in the UK,went in to administration last week following earlier speculation that the company was in financial difficulty. Sources close to Comms Business Magazine have confirmed that 30 staff at East Central have been made redundant by the administrator, accountancy firm Grant Thornton, including managing director Rob Kay.
At one point calls to their Brentwood offices were being answered by a recorded announcement asking callers to leave a message. No calls were returned to our offices. It was believed that Rob Kay had been attempting to put together a deal with the bank to sell the business as a going concern however that task now falls to the administrator.
At its peak East Central was believed to have a turnover of around £100 million and employed approximately 70 staff. In recent years the company has had a very low profile compared to the late 1990’s when then Managing Director David Milne created a lot of attention in the market.
The original company, East Central (Business Machines) Limited, was founded nearly 30 years ago. In November 1999 it was bought outright by a buy-in management buy-out (“BIMBO”) team. This was followed by a secondary management buy-out in December 2002 through ECG. The existing management team own 100 per cent. of ECG, which in turn owns 100 per cent. of the shares of ECD Limited, the sole trading company of the Group.