Caple announces the sad passing of founder Maurice Lay

It is with great sadness that the directors and shareholders of Maurice Lay Distributors Ltd announce the death of founder and chairman Maurice Lay, who has passed away peacefully at home aged 88, surrounded by his family.

Maurice was, without a doubt, a giant of the appliance industry, leaving school at 14 and working his way to senior roles in the Dutch appliance company Philips before leaving to start the company that bore his name with his wife, Jean. Initially, His company was formed to distribute Zanussi, an unknown entity in 1977. With his good friend George Dorman, Zanussi’s managing director, he was hugely influential in growing the Italian brand in the UK and became their largest customer.

After the acquisition of Zanussi by Electrolux, Maurice decided, with his family, to lead the company along a different path, and together they created the Caple brand, which gave Maurice the satisfaction of an independent range of kitchen products without the heavy hand of a large corporation.

Maurice refused offers of roles in the City of London and with international brands. He didn’t want to spend his time jetting across continents, preferring instead to work at the coalface – the thrill of the sale was always his greatest motivation. He was active and worked until the age of 85, and his opinions were always respected by the directors of his company. His company and proudest achievement remain in the safe hands of future generations of his family.

He will be missed greatly by his family, his greater family in his company and friends and colleagues throughout the industry.

For more information on Caple, please visit

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