KPMG, administrative receiver of Hibernia Foods, has announced the sale of the food company’s frozen desserts business based at Stockton-on-Tees.

The sale was concluded on 2 January 2004 to Country Style Foods Limited, a Leeds-based manufacturer of frozen foods.

However, KPMG said that following extensive negotiations with a number of interested parties, it was unable to conclude a sale of the Bridlington factory which predominantly manufactures frozen desserts under the Sara Lee brand. Consequently, the workforce of 500 who have been laid off since before Christmas, have been made redundant.

In addition, the administrative receivers have also had to make a further 35 employees redundant at the group’s York head office.

Hibernia’s Chilled Foods (Birmingham) and Ready Meals (Brenda Road, Hartlepool and Bristol) businesses and the frozen desserts business based in Oakesway, Hartlepool have already been sold.