EMPLOYEES at a Wellington-based factory have been informed the business could 'potentially' be sold.

Workers at Pritex, an acoustics business owned by parent company Steinhoff International, have been informed the process to market the business for a potential sale has been started.

The South African company fell into trouble earlier this year after it was hit by an accounting irregularities scandal.

Now, the company is considering its options to 'grow' the business.

Alan Chapman, managing director of Steinhoff UK Manufactoring Group, said: "Following the unexpected events with our South African parent company, I can confirm we have notified all employees that we have started a process to market the Pritex business for a potential sale.

"In the last few months the board and Pritex's shareholders have been in discussions about the next steps in the development of the business, and they believe the timing is right to conduct this exercise.

"I see exciting opportunities for Pritex to grow into other manufacturing sectors and into broader regional markets, particularly the European Union.

"That growth should provide job opportunities and ensure the continued success of our business in Wellington.

"The sale of the business is by no means certain and any potential buyers would only be considered if they could give best value for the business, as well as become a strategic partner for long-term growth."

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Mr Chapman described the business, which is next door to sister company Relyon, a bed manufacturer, as a 'successful niche business', and says he is confident it has a 'long future' in the town.

The managing director confirmed the management at the business remains unchanged, and focus remains on maintain and improving bottom-line performance.

After the accounting scandal, Pepkor Europe, owned by Steinhoff International, arranged a two-year loan to allow planned investment into the manufacturing and retail side of Steinhoff’s UK businesses to be maintained.

Mr Chapman added: "The UK funding obtained at the start of this year remains in place, and the Steinhoff International Group has also recently announced that is has secured agreement from its creditors on a refinancing plan for the next three years.

"The Relyon bedding business is performing well in a tough retail environment. We are investing in the Wellington site for the long term, which includes work on refurbishment of buildings and a new fleet of vehicles.

"Our objective continues to be the leading bed manufacturer in the UK making quality projects and providing excellent customer service."