121 jobs saved as Cumbrian chocolatier bought

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Finance

Creative Confectionery operates five production lines
Creative Confectionery operates five production lines
Creative Confectionery has bought fellow chocolatier Wilsons out of administration, securing 121 jobs at the Cumbria-based firm.

Creative struck the deal with administrators at business rescue and recovery specialist Dow Schofield Watts (DSW) Business Recovery for an undisclosed sum last week.

Creative, based at Holme, was part funded by a third-party investor introduced to the company after an exhaustive investment, sales and marketing process run by DSW. It operates five production lines and can make more than 2M chocolates a week.

Wilsons, based just outside Holme, was established in 1913 as one of the original makers of Kendal Mint Cake, by the grandfather of current md Andrew Wilson. The business developed into one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of chocolates for high street retail customers in the UK, and overseas.

Costly relocation     

A costly relocation to a modern purpose-built site in 2013 saw the company undergo a period of transition, which resulted in financial uncertainty, DSW said.

“I’m delighted to have secured the jobs of so many hardworking and committed people, and to have preserved the future of a third generation family firm,”​ said Wilson. “Our new partners have exceptional experience in the food industry, and have made a huge success of all they do. We can learn a lot from them as our business develops.”

“The DSW team have been superb at every step of the way and have assisted in the difficult process of identifying and meeting investors, buyers and joint venture partners over a very trying few weeks. When our backs have been against the wall, we’ve been able to rely on their advice, no matter what time of day or night involved.”

Bibby Invoice Finance had also been instrumental partners supporting the deal, said Wilson.

The sale followed the appointment of John Carpenter and Ben Barrett, partners in DSW as joint administrators.

‘Difficult time’

Carpenter said:“We are pleased to have successfully concluded a sale of this long-standing business after what has been a difficult time for the company’s management and its workforce. We wish the new owners and staff the very best for the future.”

Chris Farnworth, corporate manager at Bibby Financial Services, added: “We saw that this business needed help to get it through a difficult transitional period and recognised the raft of customers who relied upon its supply of the very best chocolates.

“We worked with Wilsons to deliver an adaptable funding structure to help stabilise the business and ensure that this quintessentially British business lives on.”

DSW was advised by Mark Lund and Laura Baker at Turner Parkinson Solicitors; Wilsons was advised by Oglethorpe Storton & Gillibrand and Bibby was advised by Bermans Solicitors.

Related topics Confectionery

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