Administrators of Stourbridge-based stationery company Helix have sold the business as a going concern to French giant Maped SA for an undisclosed sum.

David Bennett and Paul Addison of Grant Thornton UK LLP were joint administrators of Helix Ltd and Helix Group Plc, best known for making plastic rulers, protractors and the famous Oxford mathematical set.

Maped was founded in 1947 as a manufacturer of brass compasses and has grown to become a leader in the design and manufacture of school and office stationery supplies, with businesses worldwide.

Mr Addison said: “We are very pleased to have been able to secure the future of the Helix business.

“Helix and Oxford are well known brands, which attracted substantial interest from many UK and overseas companies.

“As a competitor to Helix, Maped’s strategic purchase of the business makes a great deal of sense, now allowing them to significantly invest in the brands and grow the business both in the UK domestic market and internationally.

“We are also delighted that the employees based at Helix’s head office in Lye will transfer to the company’s new owners.”

Jacques Lacroix, president of Maped, said: “There is a remarkable synergy between both companies regarding product portfolio and geographic penetration.

“I am pleased that Helix will be able to preserve its operational autonomy, while benefiting from the Maped Group’s strong manufacturing and commercial support.”