We’re pleased to announce that we have successfully preserved 21 jobs as part of the pre-packaged sale of EOS Leisure Group, a manufacturer and online retailer of vaping e-liquids under the Vapemate brand and distributor of Ambience and Hatters Hemp Tea CBD-infused cosmetics and hemp teas.
Ben Stanyon and Ned Ailyan, in our Restructuring Advisory team, were appointed Joint Administrators to the Essex-based group following a decline in its financial performance. On appointment, the business and its assets were sold to Bolton firm AQL International Ltd which owns vaping brand AquaVape. 21 jobs have been safeguarded and transferred to the acquirer.
The deal was supported by our Corporate Finance team, who marketed the business prior to administration, led by Director Harry Walker.
Established in 2013, EOS Leisure Group manufactured and marketed its products on both a wholesale and direct-to-consumer basis. As well as owning vaping brand Vapemate, it had diversified into producing CBD-infused cosmetic products stocked by retailers including Boots and Holland & Barrett, sold under its Ambience and Hatter Hemp tea brands.
The business had experienced a significant decline in its order book over the course of 2020, with the COVID-19 pandemic limiting sales of its products in retailers’ physical stores. This followed a period of significant financial investment in the development of its CBD-infused cosmetics and hemp tea ranges prior to the pandemic.
Ben Stanyon, FRP Director and Joint Administrator of EOS Group, said: “Despite having a well-established brand, like many associated with the retail sector, EOS Leisure Group has faced significant trading issues over the past 12 months. While those challenges ultimately compromised its ability to meet its financial obligations, we’re pleased to have secured a positive future for the business and its employees via the sale to AquaVape.”
Harry Walker, FRP Director, added “We worked closely with the directors of EOS Leisure Group and the Joint Administrators to run a rapid, full marketing process and were pleased that we found a buyer for the whole business in what remains a challenging retail M&A environment.”
Mubaraq Patel, Managing Director of AquaVape, said: “Vapemate has long been recognised as one of the market leaders in British-made e-liquid and vaping products, which will enable us to broaden our product range significantly. Moreover, the group behind it has a strong e-commerce platform that will complement our existing sales platforms as we look to build out our presence in the UK market.”