Utensa calls in lawyers over RG Bennett row

RG Bennett managing director Robin Clark has launched an attack on Utensa, the bakeware manufacturing and distribution company of which until recently he was a director.
Clark told HousewaresLive.net that Bennett’s had “withdrawn all support for Utensa…We have had many issues with Utensa, especially over the past few months,” he said, and added that he may in due course take action against the group.

Utensa insists that all Clark’s allegations are untrue.

Utensa was formed as a limited company in 2008 to capitalise on the different strengths of the Bennett’s, Fox Run, Dunnetts and WonderBake brands in manufacturing, marketing and distribution, with Robin Clark becoming one of Utensa’s directors.

However, Clark now has a number of grievances against Utensa, claiming that it has broken promises made to him and that it owes him money.

“The situation became increasingly untenable, and so at the end of May I resigned my position in Utensa and went back to just running Bennett’s,” he said. “Unfortunately, Utensa initially withheld some of our property and even today, continue to use the Bennett’s brand despite our protests.”

He said he had told Utensa to stop doing business using the Bennett’s name “because people will think you’ve still got the backing of Bennett’s, which you haven’t. We cannot sit back any more and allow these things to go on – not just because Bennett’s are suffering but because things are wrong. It’s a mess.”

As a result, he said that Bennett’s had “withdrawn all support for Utensa. I’m still waiting to hear from Utensa what they’re intending to do about it. It seems that at some stage we’ll be forced to take further action.”

Meanwhile, Utensa director Rob Jones issued a statement yesterday which said: “We have been made aware of certain allegations made by Robin Clark.

“Utensa totally refutes these allegations and the matter is now in the hands of our solicitors who have advised that we make no further comment on these issues.

“However, we would like to assure all of our customers and suppliers that it is very much business as usual and we continue to supply our current product range.”

Clark added that now that his company had separated from Utensa, it had relocated from Birmingham to Dorset, “from where we intend to develop the Bennett’s business and build on our history of over 65 years’ support for the independent retailer”.

Bennett’s new contact details are 179 Northmoor Way, Wareham, Dorset BN20 4SB, tel, 07908 476222.

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