The company, which makes and supplies ethnic food to restaurants, caterers and specialist supermarkets, bought Brown Bear’s trade and assets out of administration, saving 40 existing employees, assisted by administrator Baker Tilly.
However, the jobs saved were just the tip of the iceberg, according to Euro Foods founder and owner Shelim Hussain. “This acquisition is part of our overall growth strategy,” he said in a statement announcing the deal.
‘Enhance our product offering’
“The investment in this business and site should enhance our product offering and capability. In addition, we anticipate over the next three years as we invest in the site it could create an estimated 200 new jobs.”
Brown Bear itself had acquired its food packaging operation from Q Cold Ltd, which was in administration, in 2013.
However, Brown Bear also got into difficulties and in response to trading losses, its director instructed Baker Tilly to advise the company on the next steps. As it was clear the business was insolvent, the Chancery Court appointed Damian Webb as provisional liquidator on April 10, 2014.
Accelerated disposal process
Following an accelerated disposal process, Brown Bear was sold to Euro Foods on April 11, preserving the jobs of its 10 permanent and 30 full-time agency staff.
“This is a good result for all parties,” said Webb. “The rapid sale of the business has ensured that approximately 40 jobs have been saved and all the key customer contracts have been maintained.
“The sale to Euro Foods is also great news for the local community, as the company is looking to invest in the site and it is anticipated this will create further investment opportunities in the future.”
Euro Foods’s head offices are at Newport, in Gwent. Founded in 1991, it makes and distributes ethnic food brands including Zoy, Rohim and Crown Farms to customers in the UK and Europe. It also runs the Masala Bazaar retail chain.