Co-founder signs agreement to save global sofa maker

Singapore-based sofa manufacturer and global distributor HTL International has been given a lifeline by its co-founder.

The upholstery group had recently filed for insolvency protection due to Covid-19 impacting cash flow.

According to reports, HTL, which supplies the UK through its Park Hill Business Village base in Longton, has been sold to its co-founder Phua Yong Tat following an undisclosed agreement.

HTL, which is represented by lawyers Pradeep Pillai and Joycelyn Lin, filed an application for judicial management on 24 April 2020 after being served with a legal demand by DBS Bank to repay outstanding facilities in full. It is understood that HTL owes banks around US$46m.

Interim judicial managers from Deloitte & Touche have been appointed by the High Court and said that the business is facing ‘short term financing difficulties’ due to customers in the EU and US delaying payments.

HTL, which is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of leather sofas and leather upholstery hides, operates in more than 52 countries, with manufacturing facilities in China and one assembly plant in Europe. It employs over 6,000 staff.