Ortak relaunch after successful IP sale
Scottish jewellery company Ortak is to make an unexpected comeback after Glasgow-based international property (IP) specialist, Metis Partners, sold the company’s assets to five buyers – ensuring valuable jobs are saved. Following the successful sale of Ortak’s IP assets, including trademarks, 10,000 unique designs, domain names, and a user-friendly e-commerce website, the new partners plan to relaunch the brand and resume manufacture in Orkney.
This means the company will be re-emerging into the market just over a year since it went into administration. James Stephen and Francis Newton of BDO, who conducted the sale, commented: “We are pleased to be able to secure a sale of the brand and Intellectual property which enables the Ortak name to continue." Prior to the sale, Ortak had 15 branded retail outlets in the UK, as well as a global export and e-commerce presence. It is understood that there are five partners involved in the relaunch.
Three names confirmed as being associated with the new company are husband and wife Grant and Alison Firth, and Mike Gardens. However, there was no mention of whether the Gray family, the former owners of Ortak, will be involved in its future developments. Mrs Firth said: "We have bought the brand and it is our intention to get back into manufacture here in Orkney." The company’s website currently shows a holding page with the statement: "Ortak Jewellery will relaunch soon under new management. For further details or any enquiries please contact: email@example.com"
The company was founded in 1967 inspired by traditional craft and the Orkney landscape. It expanded from its origins in the Orkney Islands to a £7 million turnover company selling on the high street, on the web and wholesale to customers such as Argos, Amazon and H Samuel. Ortak entered administration in March 2013, closing three stores and terminating 28 jobs. The Ortak website ceased trading on March 16 2014. The business continued to trade throughout 2013 and was put up for sale, but failed to win a buyer. In January 2014, BDO released a statement that the sale of Ortak was unlikely. Restructuring partner James Stephen said at the time: "Regretfully, despite an extensive marketing process and discussions with a number of interested parties over the past several months, a sale of the whole Ortak business appears unlikely. However, there is some interest in the assets of the business, principally Ortak’s store network including leasehold interests and other associated assets."
- Stephen Irvine