Former Cruet managing director Will Wilkinson has joined Video Europe to launch a crewing division at the hire firm following the demise of his old company.

Cruet, which supplied kit and technical staff, went into administration on Friday. Employees were told of the company’s closure last week.

Wilkinson, along with seven former Cruet colleagues including a bookings team, engineers and technical assistants, has now joined Video Europe to set up VE Crew, which will launch later this month to service what it described as the “fast-growing crew and location facilities market”.

Cruets credits include ITV’s BBQ Champ, Time Crashers for Channel 4 and Prized Apart, The Apprentice and Masterchef for the BBC. Wilkinson said he hoped to continue to work on similar productions.

Video Europe had been in ongoing talks to acquire Cruet since the start of the year.

Cruet chairman Richard Kuttner told Broadcast the two companies had been close to closing the deal since negotiations began in February, with both sides reporting that a deal had been agreed in April.

He said: “We were proceeding but events overtook us in terms of poor trading.

“We reached a point due to lack of business that forced us into the position where we would have been trading insolvently had we continued.

“As the owner of the business, I have personally put in substantial sums of money, but it got to a point where I felt unwilling to continue to fund a loss-making company.”

Kuttner said he now plans to enjoy a “quiet retirement”.

He added: “I have a great deal of respect and regard for [Video Europe managing director] Steve Green and [director] Matt Marner. I wish them well. Their new venture has my blessing and I hope it’s very successful.”

Green added: “Will and his team are recognised throughout the industry as the best in the business and we are confident that VE Crew will hit the ground running.”