Steinhoff International Holdings has confirmed it is considering selling its Pritex foam and fibre business unit in Somerset.


Employees at Pritex — which neighbours its Relyon bed manufacturing plant at Wellington — have been told the company has "started a process to market the Pritex business for a potential sale."

A statement outlining the divestment proposal was circulated to local media and confirmed by UK manufacturing md Alan Chapman to The Furnishing Report by email last night.

In the statement Mr Chapman said the board and shareholders have decided now is the right time time right to conduct the exercise.

"I see exciting opportunities for Pritex to grow into other manufacturing sectors and into broader regional markets, particularly the European Union.

"That growth should provide job opportunities and ensure the continued success of our business in Wellington.

"The sale of the business is by no means certain and any potential buyers would only be considered if they could give best value for the business, as well as become a strategic partner for long-term growth."

Pritex's diversified activities include the supply of products including polyester fibre and polyurethane foam acoustic insulation. Before it was transferred to another Steinhoff UK company, it had also manufactured mattress products. It generated pro-rata sales of about £23 million in 2015–16, with a proportion of its sales generated from other Steinhoff companies.

If Pritex is sold, it would leave Steinhoff's UK manufacturing operations centred around its bed factories in Huntingdon and Wellington and its South Wales sofa making and sourcing operation. Steinhoff also owns Poundland, Bensons for Beds and Harveys in the UK.