Baked Snacks Co has a future – if enough capital is injected into the business

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Potato

Tortilla chips
Tortilla chips
Middlesbrough-based snacks manufacturer Baked Snacks Company (BSC) has good prospects provided any new backer can inject sufficient capital into the business to give it a fighting chance, according to sources close to the firm.

BSC, which made baked snacks for customers including Marks & Spencer and Aldi, went into administration in mid-July following months of cash flow problems and has been closed for some weeks.

One senior food industry source told FoodManufacture.co.uk that BSC could make money provided new backers were able to secure sufficient capital, as it had a purpose-built facility designed to make healthier baked snacks, an area with strong growth potential.

He said: “I think that their products are in the right area; there is definitely demand for baked snacks. But what the business needs is capital.

“When​ [BSC boss Mobeen] Mehdi acquired it from Zetar​ [in April 2009] more equity capital was needed at the start, but they didn’t get it, so they haven’t had enough working capital from the beginning, which has led to months of cashflow problems.

There was an “active dialogue” ​in progress between the administrator and potential buyers, he added: “I’m pretty sure Mobeen will be involved.”

Gary Hargreaves at administrator MCR told FoodManufacture.co.uk he remained confident of selling the business as a going concern, adding: “There has been a lot of interest in the business from various parties."

Purpose-built manufacturing facility

BSC was sold by confectionery and snacks manufacturer Zetar last April to Tilbury Property Limited, a company controlled by Mehdi.

When Zetar acquired BSC in 2007 (it was then trading as Britannia Biscuits), it had made a loss before tax of £0.4m on sales of £4.5m in the year to July 31, 2006. In the year to April 30, 2008, it posted sales of £2m and an adjusted operating loss of £0.9m.

At the time of the acquisition, Zetar said the business was at the "forefront of the development of baked snacks, biscuits, crisps and cereals".

It also pointed to the "substantial investment"​ that had gone into its purpose-built manufacturing facility at the Imperial Food park in Middlesbrough, which could make baked potato crisps, rice crackers, tortilla chips, cereals, mini popadoms, chewy biscuit bars and other snacks.

Related topics: Bakery

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