ALcontrol appoint administrator

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The Independent Online

Zolfo Cooper has been lined up as administrator to ALcontrol Laboratories, the Flintshire-based food testing business, should negotiations with its lenders fail.

The move is the latest blow to Candover Investments, the listed buyout group that has written off the value of several of its portfolio companies during the crunch.

ALcontrol, which Candover bought from buyout rival Bridgepoint in 2005 for an estimated £240m, has been struggling and is in talks with its banks over its loan terms. It is understood that the 2,000-employee strong company could be placed into pre-pack administration should an agreement on a capital restructuring not be reached.

A pre-pack means that a buyer is lined up to take over the business once the company goes into administration. Candover raised £553m from the sale of energy and research consultant Wood McKenzie to Charterhouse Capital last month.