More than 280 jobs have been saved at horticulture supplier William Sinclair with the company being sold in a pre-pack deal to Irish firm Westland Horticulture.
Sinclair, an Aim-listed company, suspended shares ahead of the rescue deal.
In May William Sinclair warned that it would run out of cash by the summer. Restructuring plans failed and collapse became a real threat. The business was experiencing poor trading plus the cost of moving to its new £50 million site at Ellesmere Port, Cheshire. Westland, based in County Tyrone, has bought the entire business, including the Ellesmere site.
Shareholders will be wiped out through the pre-pack deal with suppliers also nursing losses.
“The cost of the Ellesmere Port relocation plus the dual-running costs of the move combined to seriously impact Sinclair’s bottom line” said Will Wright, partner at KPMG and joint administrator.
The board had worked very hard over the summer to seek a rescue solution. Unfortunately and ultimately there was no alternative other then the appointment of KPMG.
William Sinclair pre-tax losses widened to £8.9 million in the six months to March 31st, compared to £3.6 million in 2014. Revenues fell to £18.7 million from £21.7 million.
During the last year the firm’s shares have lost 79% of their value. It is now valued at £1.6 million.