The sale to Loughanure Ltd, set up by meat entrepreneur Tom Cribbin, comes two months after Crawshaw fell into administration, putting 54 butchers’ stores and 600 jobs at risk.
Cribbin also runs wholesaler Cribbin Family Butchers, which was known for operating a chain of butchers’ stores in Ireland prior to its sale to Gabbotts Farm in April 2015.
Hunter Kelly and Charles King of financial services provider Ernst & Young’s restructuring team were appointed joint administrators of Crawshaw Group and its subsidiaries on 2 November.
35 butchers’ stores
Immediately prior to the appointment of the joint administrators, company directors closed 35 butchers’ stores and a distribution centre in Astley, Greater Manchester, with the loss of 354 jobs.
The administrators continued to trade the 19 profitable stores and Crawshaw’s processing and distribution centre in Hellaby, Rotherham.
Kelly and King said the £1.4m sale to Loughanure, subject to adjustment following completion of a stock count, followed more than 50 expressions of interest in parts or all of the group’s business.
They concluded the offer from Loughanure represented “the best outcome for the creditors, employees and shareholders of the group”.
Shareholder consent for the sale was not required, according to London Stock Exchange rules. However, company shares remain suspended on AIM, and it is expected that Crawshaw’s listing will be cancelled.
The joint administrators confirmed they were continuing to market the sale of certain closed stores and related assets as well as recovering outstanding debtors.
The group’s only remaining assets are a long leasehold property in Grimsby, short leasehold interests in closed stores, surplus store equipment and a number of vehicles.