KPMG was appointed administrator for PoleStar’s Leamington Desserts Ltd subsidiary after a cash injection from Privet Capital secured 255 jobs at its factory in Okehampton but failed to guarantee the future of the Leamington site.
Joint administrator Will Wright told FoodManufacture.co.uk he was aiming to sell the business as a going concern: ”We’ve had several expressions of interest and some parties have conducted site visits this week.”
He added: “I am hoping to wrap things up before Christmas.”
The factory, which employs just over 160 people, manufactures own-label frozen desserts for the leading supermarkets.
PoleStar secures Okehampton site with Privet cash injection
PoleStar was formed in December 2009 following the acquisition of Heinz’s UK frozen desserts business, with financial backing from Bank Leumi (UK).
However, commercial director Sue Garfitt said that bosses had “inherited a structure that was not fit for purpose” which had made it hard to turn the loss-making business around in the months following the acquisition.
The firm, which had already made almost 200 staff redundant over the past year, hit the headlines last month after FoodManufacture.co.uk revealed that chief executive Keith Ellis had stepped down following disagreements with the chairman and board.
Suppliers also started to contact this publication complaining about late payment.
Privet Capital cash injection
Things finally came to a head earlier this month when Privet Capital stepped in to prevent PoleStar's "immediate collapse" and acquired 100% of its equity, while Centric Commercial Finance provided facilities to support the buyout and growth of the company.
Privet director Ian Astley said: “Privet’s investment will support Polestar’s working capital requirements at Okehampton."
He added: "It will also provide the company with a renewed focus, increased financial strength and a clear strategic plan, thereby ensuring that it is well placed to continue as one of the UK’s leading manufacturers and providers of frozen desserts for many years to come.
“Despite exhaustive efforts in considering the future of the company, regrettably, we have been forced to appoint administrators to the significantly loss-making Leamington factory."
Click here to read more about PoleStar Foods.