PoleStar Foods in trouble again 2 months after takeover

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Birmingham

PoleStar Foods in trouble again 2 months after takeover
The future of PoleStar Foods' Okehampton desserts factory is once again in doubt just two months after Privet Capital stepped in to buy the business.

PoleStar was formed in December 2009 following the acquisition of Heinz’s UK frozen desserts business, with backing from Bank Leumi (UK), but quickly ran into financial problems.

Things came to a head last November when Privet Capital stepped in to prevent PoleStar's immediate collapse and said it could secure the future of its factory in Okehampton - which employs 255 staff - but not the factory at Leamington Spa, which closed this month with the loss of more than 160 jobs.

Staff have not been paid

However, just two months after Privet's intervention, FoodManufacture.co.uk understands that production at Okehampton has stopped, while staff have not been paid.

A source close to the firm, which makes own-label desserts for the supermarkets, said: "There is a meeting today, but the fear is that the site is going to close. The staff have not been paid."

A spokeswoman for PoleStar declined to comment on the nature or extent of Privet's funding problems, but confirmed that staff had not been paid.

She added: "‘PoleStar is taking this issue seriously and realises that this is unsettling for staff. The PoleStar team is working hard to rectify current problems and will update all employees as soon as possible."

Leamington Spa auction

Separately, Country Style Foods boss Tony Wood declined to comment on rumours that his firm had been looking at the Leamington Spa site, ​the contents of which are being sold by administrator KPMG.

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