55 jobs saved as administrators sell Durham dairy

By Lorraine Mullaney

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Milk

55 jobs have been safeguarded at Rock Farm Dairy
55 jobs have been safeguarded at Rock Farm Dairy
A 105-year-old Durham dairy has been sold out of administration, safeguarding 55 jobs.

Rock Farm Dairy called in administrators Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) in March this year. PwC set up a contract processing arrangement with milk supply company UK Dairy Sales (UKDS), which has now bought the company.

The deal means 55 jobs have been saved at Rock Farm out of 88.

The contract manufacturing agreement with UKDS had preserved the opportunity to sell the business as a going concern. Assets have remained in the same location which preserved a higher value, as well as protecting employment and continuity of supply to customers.  

All employees retained by the company following administration will be transferred to the new owner along with assets.

Positive news

Stephen Oldfield, joint administrator and PwC partner said: “The sale is positive news for all stakeholders as it enables the transfer of 55 employees and preserves continuity of supply to customers in the north east, providing a longer-term solution beyond the tolling [contract manufacturing] agreement.”

Mr Oldfield said the sale of the assets to the tolling partner in its current location preserved significant value for the company’s creditors. “Going forward we will continue to concentrate on the recovery of the company’s pre-appointment debtors to achieve enhanced dividend prospects for all unsecured creditors.”​  

Growing the business

UKDS owner Jon Thornes said: “With the future of the dairy secured we can now concentrate all our efforts into growing the business, creating new local jobs and continuing to produce the highest quality, locally produced milk and dairy products for our thousands of customers across the north of England.

"I am a passionate believer in the importance of supplying local milk for local people. Customers increasingly want to know where their milk comes from and trust the quality of the source. Rock Farm has traditionally been a local, family run dairy that enjoyed these qualities in abundance and we intend to keep it that way.”

UKDS is planning to invest over £2M to build a solid platform for sustainable, long-term growth for the business. The new enterprise will be owned by UKDS but will continue to trade as Rock Farm Dairy.

John Gregory, UKDS manager, said: “This agreement marks the dawning of an exciting new era for Rock Farm. We can fully focus our attention on driving the business forward and we have ambitious plans for growth.”

Related topics Dairy Dairy-based ingredients

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