National distribution firm Kerryfresh appoints administrators

Tue, 27 Mar 2018 | ADMINISTRATION

Kerryfresh announced the appointment of administrators on 23rd March after falling into financial difficulty as a result of "the failure of Palmer & Harvey".

Allan Graham and Ben Wiles of Duff & Phelps were appointed joint administrators of the chilled wholesale and distribution company, which had more than 200 refrigerated vehicles and 300 employees supplying chilled products for the food and convenience sector.

According to Graham, the company had been showing positive financial results following its acquisition via a management buy-out in 2015. However, the failure of grocery wholesaler Palmer & Harvey in November 2018 reportedly led to cash flow difficulties caused by the delay in the settlement of insurance claims.

Additionally, Kerryfresh was dealt a further blow at the beginning of 2018 when the withdrawal of insurance cover on one of the distributors largest customers left the management with no choice but to exit its supply agreement.

"The ongoing financial pressures it was facing alongside the loss of these customers meant that it had a significant funding requirement," Mr Graham said. "The company’s management team have been trying to secure additional investment into the business or find a purchaser for the company in recent weeks but, unfortunately, both strategies proved unsuccessful and insolvency became unavoidable at the end of last week."

The administrators went on to confirm they will continue to search for a possible buyer for the company, as a whole or in parts, with the aim of preventing the loss of 300 jobs. Graham added that he hoped the discovery of a buyer would also minimise disruption to Kerryfresh customers and "maximise asset realisations for creditors".


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