Fri, 20 May 2022 | ADMINISTRATION
Bournemouth-based instant foods brand Mr Lee’s Pure Food has been placed into administration and ceased trading following the death of its founder last year. Administrators from Kroll are now seeking a buyer for the company and its assets.
Mr Lee’s Pure Foods was launched by Damien Lee in 2016 as a healthy, gourmet offering within the £100 billion-per-year instant meals market. As well as the Mr Lee’s Noodles brand, which includes both rice noodle and ramen dishes, the company also has lines of instant porridge and congee.
In its accounts for the year ending December 31 2021, the company had £273,423 in fixed assets and £1.52 million in current assets. At the time of filing, the company owed creditors £2.47 million, outstripping its assets by £679,348. Mr Lee’s Pure Foods’ total net book value at the end of 2021 was £250,669, compared to £710,959 a year earlier.
The company has proven to be something of an innovator within the instant foods market, aiming to offer healthy alternatives within a sector widely viewed as unhealthy. It was the first company in the UK to offer instant congee and also expanded into foodtech with a pilot launch of touch-screen noodle kiosks. In 2020, the business raised more than £1.6 million through crowdfunding to finance a launch in the US.
However, following the death of Damien Lee last year following several bouts of cancer, the company has now moved to appoint Rob Armstrong and Jimmy Saunders of Kroll as joint administrators.
In a statement, the joint administrators said: “The company, based in Bournemouth, is an award-winning brand of gourmet instant noodles, porridges, and other foods. Its three product ranges; Mr Lee’s Noodles (includes Rice Noodles and Ramen), Mr Lee’s Porridges and Mr Lee’s Congee; are all made with the finest freeze-dried ingredients, low in sugar and saturated fats and with no artificial additives.”
Joint administrator Jimmy Saunders added: “At this stage the company has ceased trading and is under the control of the joint administrators whilst the financial position and prospects are examined, and we continue to look for a buyer of the business and assets. All creditors will be notified of the appointment in the coming days.”
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