May 31, 2024

Taylor Daily Press

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Bankrupt in-house specialist hires 50 people: 'We hope TOM Group's experienced staff will be hired quickly'

Bankrupt in-house specialist hires 50 people: 'We hope TOM Group's experienced staff will be hired quickly'

TOM Group was declared bankrupt by the Companies Court on Tuesday morning. The company specializes in interior design and is based on Nijverheidsstraat in Oevel (Westerlo). The company's roots lie in Olin. The family business employs about fifty people. One of the acquiring companies has already shown interest in 14 employees.

TOM Group stands for Totaalproject Op Maat. The Peters family firm has been active in the interior design industry for 50 years, both privately and for commercial clients. Partly due to the crisis in the construction industry, there has recently been a decline in sales volumes, while fixed costs continue to accumulate.

The company received additional financial support from the owners, but in recent months it became clear that failure was inevitable. “In the meantime, very extensive discussions have taken place with potential acquirers and some have been found,” says Philip Somers, advisor to TOM Group. With this information available, the company officially declared bankruptcy this week.

“A construction company from Olin has committed to immediately hiring twelve carpenters on the same conditions as they are currently working on. These people are now given the option of accepting this proposal or not. A number of ongoing projects will also be continued.

TOM Group still has a paint shop in Turfputten in Ulin. “It will stay open and a couple more people can continue working there.”

The paint store in Olean may remain open. — © Mark Peters

There is currently no solution for the other employees, who number about thirty. “We are very aware that this is difficult for those involved,” Somers says. “TOM Group is known for its quality work. Staff turnover has been very low.”

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“The employees know their trade and we hope that those who cannot switch quickly will be hired by one of the many construction companies that are constantly looking for experienced employees.” On Tuesday, the court appointed trustees DeVos, Vangel and Belmans to continue handling the file.

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Somers also sympathizes with the Peters family who founded TOM Group and who now see much of their life's work lost. It was the current director's father who started working as a painter and wallpaperer at the Olin Center in the 1970s. At first the garage in the house was used as a base, then there was a shop in Dorp.

In 2010, the business district of Turfputten became the new headquarters of the company, combining the paint shop and paint shop with a beautiful showroom. In 2019, the Group acquired the furniture workshop of the construction company Thys from Oevel (Westerlo), and moved the activities and headquarters to Westerlo. The company has also been known as a sponsor in cyclo-cross and soccer.