1st Dental bought by Zeus Group founder

Dental laboratory firm 1st Dental has been bought out of administration by the co-founder of investment firm Zeus Group.

Trading in shares in the Harrogate firm was suspended last week and adminstrators appointed after September revenues failed to meet expectations and the company revealed it had come under ‘severe pressure’ from creditors include HM Revenue and Customs.

Richard Hughes, who set up Manchester-based Zeus Group with Ian Currie, has now bought the company, the largest dental laboratory group in the UK, for an undisclosed sum.

Managing director Nigel Spring said: ‘Richard has provided additional capital to promote the management’s turnaround strategy of the business.

‘I’d like to thank all our customers and suppliers for their support and reiterate that our laboratories will continue to offer the high levels of customer service and product quality that they have done for many years.’

1st Dental’s difficulties came just weeks after it had recorded a £10,000 profit for the first half of the year compared to a £326,000 loss in the same period in 2009.

But the company directors admitted it had an ‘arrears of creditors’ it was paying through cashflow and when revenues failed to rise as anticipated in September it was left struggling to meet its financial obligations.

Andrew Poxon and John Titley of Leonard Curtis, in Bury, were the administrators.

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