160 jobs axed at collapsed Kozee Sleep

ADMINISTRATORS axed 160 of 174 jobs at collapsed bedding firm Kozee Sleep last Friday.

Just 14 workers were retained after KMPG were said to have turned down offers for the ailing Ravensthorpe company.

An internal source claimed businessman Tahir “Terry” Zaman made several bids for the firm. But he is alleged to have been unable to give details when KPMG asked for proof of funds.

Mr Zaman’s brother-in-law, Mohammed Rafiq, also made bids which were refused, the source said.

Last week’s job cuts also affect subsidiaries Restus Beds Ltd and Hick Lane Bedding Ltd.

Rafiq, 59, and two staff are awaiting trial on charges related to human trafficking.

The source said he believed Rafiq’s bid was potentially viable and said: “KPMG are the ones who shut the door. I don’t know if human trafficking played a part. But perhaps some wiser business decisions should have been made by Mr Rafiq.” He said of redundancy terms: “Those who have worked 13 or 14 years are only going to get 12 weeks’ pay.

“But at least the uncertainty is over. We’ve been in a catch-22 for the last three weeks.”

It emerged this week that the Dewsbury-based Lindley Group could be interested in a £7.5m buyout.

Joint administrator Jonny Marston, of KPMG, said: “It has not been possible to complete a going concern sale at this time.

“Our employee specialist attended the meeting we held with the staff to let them know the situation.”

Details were given of how staff can apply to the Insolvency Service for unpaid wages.

Mr Marston added: “We have also shared information from the local job centre, with whom we have been in contact.”

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