200 jobs saved at Cornish pasty firm

By Rod Addy contact

- Last updated on GMT

West Cornwall Pasty Company's pasties have protected geographical indication status
West Cornwall Pasty Company's pasties have protected geographical indication status

Related tags: Cornwall, Pasty

A last minute cash injection has saved 200 jobs and 35 shops at West Cornwall Pasty Company after it hit hard times and called in the administrators.

Private equity outfit Endless rescued the business, which makes and sells Cornish pasties and rolls, with £7.5M from its small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) fund Enact, just three months after its launch. Sankaty Advisors supported Enact in the transaction.

Enact, which was launched earlier this year to support SMEs struggling to get bank funding, now has big plans for the company, with plans to invest in innovation and new store openings.

Chris Cormack, investment director at Enact, has joined West Cornwall Pasty Company’s board, supporting the existing management team.

Period of renewal

Cormack said the firm had got into difficulties as a result of a number of underperforming outlets and the effects of the so-called pasty tax requirements to slap VAT on hot baked products.

The business is now also in the process of recruiting a senior executive chairman to help steer it through this period of renewal.

“The Enact fund’s capital is sourced from a collection of extremely successful entrepreneurs and professionals,”​ said Cormack. “This unique feature of Enact enables us to harness decades of retail and brand experience to support our plans for West Cornwall Pasty Company.

‘Further transactions’

“We’re in advanced discussions with a number of other businesses and are hopeful of announcing further transactions shortly. We’d also be delighted to speak to other SMEs that would benefit from investment from Enact.”

West Cornwall Pasty Company was set up in 1998 by Ken Cocking and his sons Gavin and Aaron and has protected geographical indication status for its Cornish pasties.

Endless’s portfolio includes UK pork processor Karro Food Group, as well as retailer Bathstore and office products distributor Vasanta Group. Set up in 2005, it has a turnover of more than £1.5bn.

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