Are Dukes of London the next pre-pack?

Top 10 UK distributor, Dukes of London, are reported to be in final negotiations to be acquired through an arrangement known as a “pre-pack”.  The front runner is USA giant BDA, who enjoy sales of $275 million annually – ranking 4th in the USA sales table.

Jay Deutsch, CEO of BDA, commented prior to boarding a flight to London last night that there was no way “to pay for the sins of the current or past owners with vendors,” but that he “hoped to offer jobs to the people that will benefit from TUPE arrangements,” adding that “the deal is not done but I am hoping to send a press release by tomorrow.”

An anonymous individual, who asked not to be named, explained, “It’s the same story yet again; we hold the stock, print it, pay to take them out for dinner and then they get out of paying by selling the business off before anyone else has a chance to bid.”

Another top 10 UK supplier said, “This is just disgusting. They owed us money for months and only paid it last week so we would release some more orders. Now we have lost £2,000 and have no way of getting it back. The law has to be changed on these things and I hope the pre-pack does not go ahead.” He went on to say, “This is why we need a proper trade association; there is no way they should be allowed to do this.”

Jay Deutsch - CEO BDA Inc.

Jay Deutsch – CEO BDA Inc.

BDA have been on a substantial expansion plan of late, acquiring a company in Boston in what they said was their largest to date.

Dukes of London was founded over 20 years ago and is a premium-brand promotional merchandise company that provides goods and services to blue-chip corporations and public bodies worldwide, with offices in London and Hong Kong. Dukes of London provides branded clothing, gifts, product innovations and highly creative ideas that help businesses promote their brands. By sourcing globally, Dukes offers its clients an unrivalled range of products, bespoke items and competitive pricing.

In 2015, when Dukes of London was acquired by Agathos, Dukes’ CEO Douglas Grays said:“We are delighted to have Agathos on board. Through our established bases in London and Asia, and our connections with partners in North America, we manage a number of significant global contracts. With the Agathos team’s specialist skills, resources and finance, we will be able to take the company to the next stage of growth and development. We are excited about the future and the opportunity for potential complementary acquisitions.”


  1. There’s never any smoke without fire.
    Again it looks as if suppliers will be left holding the dirty end of the stick!

  2. on the hook for quite a bit, same story, what needs to happen is the customer base should be taken from them as thats all they are buying

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