Northumberland Department Store Sold After 170 Years04/10/2019
A Northumberland department store has been sold after more than 170 years as a family-run business with the assistance of Mincoffs Solicitors.
Rutherford & Co of Morpeth has been bought by its general manager Chris Mitchell for an undisclosed sum as part of a management buy-out.
Rutherfords, which has been in the town since 1846, will retain its name and its 40 employees have been assured of their future under the new ownership.
Commenting on the sale, Richard said: “Sometimes things can’t stay the same but, in this case, although I will be retiring due to the fact there is no family to carry on, the business itself will continue.
“Over the past seven years I’ve had the pleasure of working with Chris who has brought a new energy and vision to the company. For the past two years he has run it as my CEO.
“Even though we have had interest in the business from third parties, I could not have wished for a better outcome for the staff and for Morpeth. It is like passing it over to my own son.”
Rutherfords’ new owner Chris Mitchell added: “I have had the opportunity to play a key role in the evolution of the department store and embrace new trends.
“The challenge as we move forwards is to keep the traditional feel of the department store that has been part of the fabric of Morpeth for many decades, while ensuring it continues to evolve and appeal to a wider market.”
Mincoffs Solicitors award-winning Corporate department advised the shareholders on the sale. Chris Hughes, Associate Solicitor in the Corporate team who led advice to the shareholders, commented: “It was a pleasure to act for Richard and the other shareholders on the sale of Rutherfords. The team and I are glad to have played our part in ensuring the continuation of such a well-known and established business and we wish Richard and the shareholders a long and healthy retirement as well as wishing Chris and his team the best of luck for the future of Rutherfords.”