A rescue package being negotiated for Tasmanian meat processor Blue Ribbon is prompting fears of substantial job-cuts among the company’s 400-stong workforce.

Blue Ribbon’s administrator, Andrew Beck of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, commented yesterday [Wednesday] that the deal currently under consideration might be signed within hours.

Beck did not disclose who would be stepped into the breech and save Blue Ribbon, but he did suggest that the offer on the cards was similar to the one tabled at the last creditors’ meeting.

A proposal by Chinese company Guangdong Jinli was granted preference at that meeting, over offers by Bindaree Beef and Melbourne-based BRG Capital Facilitation, but later withdrew its interest. Bindaree Beef has similarly since stated that it is no longer interested in acquiring Blue Ribbon, leaving BRG as the remaining party.

Local newspaper The Mercury revealed that BRG’s original offer to Blue Ribbon had included terms for the transfer of the majority of the meat processor’s workforce