TSC Foods was hoping to close a deal to acquire the upmarket Glorious! brand endorsed by Marco Pierre White as Food Manufacture went to press. Current brand owner Conival ceased trading on February 4 after a major creditor called in its debts.
The firm said it was "taking immediate advice from an insolvency practitioner". TSC, which produces chilled soups and sauces under the Glorious! brand for Morrisons, Boots and Waitrose said it was now "managing the full supply chain" for these products plus Glorious! chilled desserts, which are produced by another manufacturer.
Md Bill Morran said: "We are currently completing our due diligence process in relation to the acquisition of the Glorious! brand; this process is now planned to be completed on the week commencing February 23."
The financial problems at Conival were not a reflection of the poor performance of the products, which were "doing well", claimed Morran. However, other high-profile brands launched by Conival including Sparky (functional foods with omega-3) and Blenheim Palace Provisions (premium desserts and drinks) were costly failures and have both been withdrawn from the market.
One of a series of food-related cash shell companies launched on the Alternative Investment Market in 2004, Conival aimed to tap into the celebrity chef phenomenon by linking up with Marco Pierre White.