Employees get tax-free bonus

THE 565 workers at one of Huntingdon s largest employers returned from their two-week annual break on Monday to find that they had a new owner – and an unexpected tax-free bonus in their pay packet. Myer s Beds, a family-owned firm until last week, founde

THE 565 workers at one of Huntingdon's largest employers returned from their two-week annual break on Monday to find that they had a new owner - and an unexpected tax-free bonus in their pay packet.

Myer's Beds, a family-owned firm until last week, founded in London in 1876, is now owned by Swedish company Hilding Anders.

Employees will get at least a week's tax-free pay, rising with their length of continuous service with the firm, which could be worth thousands of pounds to some workers. Retired employees will also be rewarded.

Chairman Jonathan Myer and his brother Rodney, who is managing director, told staff on Monday: "Jonathan and Rodney are anxious that all who have contributed to the success of Myer's and Staples should receive recognition of the contribution they have made. All employees working for the firm today, August 6, will receive a tax-free payment of one standard week's pay plus a further one day's pay for each complete six months of current continuous service with the company.

"All those who have retired from the company will also receive a payment."

Myer's, which occupies a 13-acre site in Windover Road, Huntingdon, is the fifth to be acquired by the Malm-based group, which already owns brands including Slumberland, Dunlopillo and Jensen in the UK. Since May, it has also bought bed manufacturers in Croatia, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and France in a bid to become the world's largest bed manufacturer. Group turnover worldwide is around £500million.

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Myer's, which also owned the premium Staples bed brand with its royal warrant, had turnover last year of around £35million, Jonathan Myer told The Hunts Post. He and his brother will continue to run the company.

Hilding Anders president and chief executive Anders Palsson said on Monday: "As the UK is the biggest market in Europe it lies in our interest to expand our business in this area. It is particularly satisfying to acquire a company such as Myer's, given the company's reputation and history, which is not entirely unlike our own.

"The addition of Myer's brands to our existing brand portfolio will also make Hilding Anders particularly strong in the premium segment in the UK.

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