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Ortak to regain its sparkle after deal for assets

The iconic Ortak brand will live on after new deal. Picture: Robert Perry

The iconic Ortak brand will live on after new deal. Picture: Robert Perry

Ortak, the Orcadian jewellery business that hit hard times last year, is to be revived after a sale of its assets was agreed.

The new owners are preparing to relaunch the brand and resume manufacturing in Orkney just over a year after the business went into administration.

Ortak was founded in Kirkwall in the 1960s, with its designs influenced by the local landscape. It grew to have an annual turnover of £7 million and 15 branded stores employing more than 150 staff but collapsed last year. All of the shops have since closed.

Metis Partners, the Glasgow-based intellectual property (IP) firm, was recently instructed to sell the remaining assets, which included the trademarks, web names and a 25,000-strong customer database.

It is understood that five partners are involved in the relaunch of the brand, which saw a number of celebrities promote it over the years, including singer Myleene Klass, Scots TV presenter Carol Smillie and Strictly Come Dancing’s Flavia Cacace.

Alison Firth, who along with husband Grant, is among those backing the relaunch, said: “We have bought the brand and it is our intention to get back into manufacture here in Orkney.”

Linda Shannon, who conducted the marketing campaign for Metis, said: “We are delighted that such an iconic brand will continue in business.

“Metis is pleased to add Ortak to its portfolio of successful IP sales, which includes the vintage Horrockses dresses and home furnishings brand, the Allders department store brand and the MFI and Land of Leather brands.”

The sale of the iconic jewellery business was instructed by James Stephen and Francis Newton at accountancy practice BDO. Last March, Ortak said it had carried out an “exhaustive review of the business”, which had come under pressure from the recession and the rising cost of raw materials.

It said it hoped administration would provide breathing space to explore the sale of the business as a going concern. Two bids were made, but were deemed not acceptable to the administrators.

 

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