Food-to-go supplier calls in administrators

Wed, 27 May 2020 | ADMINISTRATION

Adelie Foods, one of Britain’s biggest suppliers of sandwiches and food-to-go, has appointed administrators as the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact the food sector.

The company had been in rescue talks for several weeks, but a potential acquisition by an unnamed company couldn’t gain the necessary support from watchdogs in time, according to insiders. It has now appointed Deloitte to undertake an insolvency process, with employees having been informed of the development Tuesday afternoon.

It has been reported that Deloitte is assessing whether it will be able to produce a deal to save Adelie from administration. The company is reported to have been in talks over a deal with listed food supplier Greencore, while Samworth could be another contender.

Adelie, which is headquartered near Heathrow, employs over 2,000 staff, a large amount of whom have been placed on furlough since March due to the coronavirus pandemic. The company’s clients include coffee chains such as Caffè Nero and supermarkets including Lidl.

Before appointing administrators, the company had been owned by its former lender Intermediate Capital Group, which took ownership of Adelie in 2016 after it lost contracts with J Sainsbury and Asda.

Joint administrator Rob Harding, a restructuring partner at Deloitte, said: "The current pandemic is having a devastating effect on consumer-facing businesses and suppliers into them, such as Adelie.”

"The impact of COVID-19 on the Company's order book resulted in a material funding requirement and, as a result, we have been working hard with Adelie's management to try and secure a buyer to ensure the right longer-term future for the business."

In its latest available accounts, to the year ending September 30 2018, Adelie Foods registered an EBITDA loss of £2.96 million. However, its revenue saw 10 per cent growth compared to the previous 12 month period, from £225.7 million to £248.5 million, following new business in food service and convenience and an 11 per cent growth in its URBAN eat brand. At the time, the company reported fixed assets of £13.8 million and current assets of £63.7 million.

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