JJB Sports' Whelan cools off on pies as he sells Pooles of Wigan to ex-rival
JJB Sports' founder, Dave Whelan, has had his fill of pies, selling his Pooles of Wigan pies business to Neil Court-Johnston, the former boss of rival Holland's Pies, in a £5m deal.
Mr Court-Johnston took control of the Wigan-based Pooles for £3m in cash plus a working capital loan of £2m from Mr Whelan. The deal comes at an interesting time for the business as controversy over VAT changes which are likely to hit pie and pastie makers mounts.
In what critics are calling one of the most half-baked pieces of law-making from a British government, hot pies, pasties and other pastries could become liable for VAT. But this will depend on the ambient temperature. Sources close to the deal denied that "piegate" was the reason behind the decision by Mr Whelan, Britain's 40th-richest man, to sell up.
He said that in Mr Court-Johnston he had found "the right man for the job" of stewarding the company.
"In Neil, I feel I am handing over the reins to someone with the necessary ambition, talent and know-how to lead a bright new phase of growth for this proud and well-respected business," Mr Whelan said. Mr Court-Johnston, whose CV is littered with blue-chip food names including Kraft, Nestlé and Northern Foods, described himself as "thrilled" with the deal.
- 4 Women think Irish men are the sexiest, survey finds
- 5 Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
Who should I vote for in the general election? Take The Independent's interactive quiz to find out which party is the right choice for you
Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
Mysterious 'X-Files' sounds heard miles above the Earth
US gameshow gives woman in wheelchair incredibly awkward prize
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: Post-election 'shambles' looms as 70 per cent of voters say SNP 'should not be able to veto UK government policies'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
iJobs Money & Business
£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...
£27 - 35k + Bonus + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Management Accountant is needed ...
£40-50k + Benefits.: Guru Careers: A Project Manager / Business Analyst is nee...