Cooking ranges supplier saved from collapse

Preston and Thomas, the Cardiff-based manufacturer that has supplied cooking ranges to fish and chip shops across the country, has been bought by Rangetek Ltd in Epsom, Surrey.

The deal ends four months of uncertainty over the fate of the business after it was placed in administration last September following a decline in turnover. In its last financial year sales reached £1.5m.

Rangetek will now be rebranded Preston and Thomas, as directors of the company look to exploit the prestige of the 100-year-old company.

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David Hill of administrators Begbies Traynor said: “After several months of talks with potential buyers, we managed to secure the sale of Preston and Thomas’s goodwill and intellectual property, along with some of its plant and machinery. This will enable the trusted brand of Preston and Thomas to continue to play a major role in nation’s culinary culture.”

Remaining plant and machinery has been sold by auction and the company’s premises at Woodville Engineering Works in Rumney, Cardiff, has now been cleared.

Martin Lewis, managing director of Rangetek, said: “We feel both privileged and excited about the purchase of Preston and Thomas. With our two highly-skilled teams in Surrey and Kent, this iconic name is in safe hands and we are confident of a bright future.”

Lewis said that Preston and Thomas would officially be relaunched on February 3, when the name change is implemented.

Rangetek was founded in 1987 by Steven Saunders and Tom O’Neil before being sold to employees Martin and Donna Lewis in 2011. Based across two sites in Epsom, Surrey, and Sevenoaks, Kent, Rangetek specialises in supplying fish and chip shop fryers, in addition to equipment servicing and upgrades.

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