The baker – which produces the Genesis Crafty range, as well as own-label cakes and breads for stores such as Marks & Spencer, Waitrose and Tesco – appointed Andrew Dolliver and Luke Charleton of accounting firm EY as administrators earlier today (Tuesday 21 August).
Dolliver and Charleton worked with McErlain’s to identify a buyer in advance of the process, with the business continuing to operate as normal throughout.
McErlain’s managing director Brian McErlain will stay with the business. The sale has also saved the jobs of 260 employees.
‘Guide the growth’
Commenting on the purchase, Allen said: “This is a private investment by me and my family. I’m hoping that, in my non-executive role with the company, I will be able to use my experience in the industry to help guide the growth of both the Genesis Crafty brand and the overall business.
“I’m delighted that the jobs at the factory have been secured and that Brian McErlain will be staying on as managing director. I’m now looking forward to seeing the company return to substantial, managed, successful growth and further investment in the future.”
McErlain said there were mixed emotions surrounding the sale of the business – sadness that a different family now owned the business, but also hope for the future and the growth of the Genesis Crafty brand.
Real benefit to the company
“Paul Allen’s ability is very well respected in the business community, not just in Northern Ireland but further afield, and I believe that his involvement will be a real benefit to the company.
“I’d like to pay tribute to all our staff, customers and suppliers, who have been through some difficult times with us and whose support we have really appreciated.”
EY’s Dolliver said McErlain’s was now set up for a positive future through the knowledge and experience Allen would bring to the business.
Meanwhile, last week, extreme weather conditions forced egg producer Blackdown Hills Enterprises into administration, costing the jobs of its entire workforce.