Christmas saved for Black Country manufacturer on brink of collapse

13 December 2016

Administrators have saved 78 jobs at a Black Country-based company run by five generations of a local family.

Just 24 days before Christmas, administrators from the Restructuring Services division of Mazars UK LLP, the international professional services firm, saved the positions of employees at H. & E. Knowles (Lye) Limited by selling the business and its assets.

The 78 employees represent the entire workforce of the business, which employs 78 staff at two sites at Quarry Bank and Cradley, in Dudley.

H & E Knowles was founded in the early 1920s and has remained under the control of the founding family for nearly a century.

H & E Knowles (Lye) Limited was incorporated in 1962 and was managed by Peter Knowles and Daniel Knowles, the fourth and fifth generation of the family.

The company was a long-established metal manufacturer based in the heart of the Black Country.

It manufactured a wide range of products including garden-ware such as wheelbarrows, greenhouses, storage units and incinerators.

H & E Knowles (Lye) Limited struggled financially after some large investments it made became too costly.   

The business invested heavily in 2015 in premises and machinery, but it was unable to benefit from that investment and has since incurred losses. 

The company cash flow was restricted by the increase in finance costs and the directors were ultimately unable to restructure the business’s operations and working capital requirements.

Simon Chandler and Scott Bevan of Mazars UK LLP were appointed joint administrators of H. & E. Knowles (Lye) Limited on November 30 2016.

Following their appointment, certain parts of the business and assets have been sold to HE Knowles (Manufacturing) Limited, a new venture owned by Peter and Daniel Knowles.

Simon Chandler, joint administrator and head of Mazars UK Restructuring Services, said: “The closure of the business would have resulted in the redundancy of all employees immediately before the Christmas period. The sale of the business preserves and protects those 78 employees.”



For national press enquiries, please contact Heather McMaster, National PR Manager, on +44 207 063 4173 or email

About Mazars

Mazars is an international, integrated and independent organisation, specialising in audit, accountancy, tax, legal and advisory services. As of 1 January 2016, Mazars operates throughout the 77 countries that make up its integrated partnership. We draw on the expertise of 17,000 professionals to assist major international groups, SMEs, private investors and public bodies at every stage of their development. In the UK, Mazars has over 140 partners and over 1,700 employees serving clients from 19 offices, and is ranked one of the top 10 firms nationally.

For all national news and expert commentary, visit our website at

News and our latest announcements are also published via the firm’s page on LinkedIn at or you can follow us on Twitter @Mazars_UK