Loseley Dairy Ice Cream enters administration

By Graham Holter and Ben Bouckley

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Loseley dairy ice Milk Firm

Loseley md Neil Burchell outside the firm's facility in Cwmbran
Loseley md Neil Burchell outside the firm's facility in Cwmbran
The few remaining staff at Loseley’s ice cream plant in South Wales are expected to leave the site in the coming days following the company’s collapse last month, a company spokesperson has confirmed to FoodManufacture.co.uk.

All 83 employees at the Cwmbran factory, which opened in 2005, were told on April 19 that they had lost their jobs.

The administrator, Portland Business & Financial Solutions, is looking for options for the company but to date has not identified a buyer for the business in its entirety. However, administrator James Tickell was not available for comment as we went to press.

Confirmed interest

Lancashire-based Frederick's and Somerset firm Lovingtons have both been touted as potential buyers, and Frederick’s deputy md David Taylor confirmed to FoodManufacture.co.uk in mid-April​ that his firm was interested in parts of the business.

Loseley’s troubles came to a head in the spring after private equity backer the Foresight Group withdrew its funding.

The firm had struggled to compete against larger rivals and their promotional activity in the multiple grocers. It was also hit by soaring costs for raw materials such as cream and sugar, problems that have beset firms throughout the sector​.

In the 18 months to March 31 2010, Loseley recorded a £4.7m loss on turnover of £8.7m, which it blamed on business review costs and reduced turnover of its legacy Hill Station business.

Turbulent past

Set up by investment bankers Charles and Gina Hall in the 1990s, Loseley (formerly known as Hill Station) became the UK’s third-largest ice cream business in 2006 after striking a £5.6m reverse takeover deal to acquire Loseley Dairy Ice Cream (based in Cwmbran) and Granelli McDermott (which had factories in Tattenhall and Cheadle).

Thereafter production was consolidated into Loseley's Cwmbran factory. However, the Alternative Investment Market- (AIM) listed company suffered cash-flow problems and called in administrators in October 2008. It was then acquired by Acuity Capital, which subsequently passed on control to the Foresight Group early last month.

No-one from Frederick’s, Lovingtons or the Foresight Group was available for comment.

Related topics Dairy Frozen

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