Drinks supplier WaverleyTBS collapses into administration

 

Around 830 jobs are under threat after one of the UK's biggest drinks suppliers collapsed into administration.

Deloitte were called in as administrators to WaverleyTBS, which supplies alcoholic and soft drinks to clients including Thorpe Park and Madame Tussauds parent company Merlin Entertainments.

Deloitte said it was in talks with a number of interested buyers for Waverley and is continuing to trade the business while it seeks to secure a rescue deal.

The collapse comes just two years after private equity group Manfield Partners bought the business from Heineken with aims to revive declining sales.

The administration follows that of JJB Sports on Monday, with the loss of around 2,200 posts.

The business has its headquarters in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, and employs 830 staff at 18 sites across the UK, including Gateshead, Hemel Hempstead, Dagenham, Haydock in Merseyside and Wincanton in Somerset.

Waverley was originally the wholesale arm of Scottish & Newcastle, which was taken over by Heineken in 2008 in a joint deal with Carlsberg.

Manfield Partners said Waverley fell victim to a tough pubs and restaurants market as consumers rein in their spending.

It said: "Unfortunately Waverley has increasingly had to contend with very tough trading conditions in the UK on-trade, pressures on consumer spending and tightening credit terms."

Waverley was loss-making when it was sold in 2010 and Manfield said it had worked closely with the firm to improve performance and trim costs.

"Despite all the efforts of the board to find a buyer or strong financial partner for the business over the past two months it has been unable to do so and therefore concluded that it should ask its lenders to appoint an administrator," added Manfield.

Daniel Butters, head of the restructuring services practice at Deloitte in the North East, offered hope for the business as he said potential buyers were "keen".

He added: "The company has a committed workforce and a strong customer network across the UK, supplying to a large proportion of both national and free trade beverage retailers across the country."

PA

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