Bids for The Fresh Olive Company, whose parent company Novel Group was placed into administration last week, are expected in by the end of this week – with the company’s management favourite to secure a deal, just-food understands.

As reported on just-food earlier this week, Novel’s other subsidiary, the UK speciality cheese wholesaler H&B Foods, has already been subject to its own management buyout.

Sources close to the Fresh Olive deal told just-food today that the business was expected to fetch in the region of GBP6m (US$8.9m). Although the management team leads the field of potential buyers, the source said that there was strong competition from the foodservice sector, in particular from Brakes and 3663.

The Fresh Olive Company employs 100 people and has a turnover of GBP18.1m. The business has continued to trade while administrators looked to find a buyer.

The sale earlier this week of H&B Foods was jointly funded by its management team and Straumur Burdaras Investment Bank.

A spokesperson for the company told just-food earlier this week that the cheese business had remained profitable. However, issues at the olive business had forced Novel into administration.

“They had over invested in Fresh Olive, with the building of a new production facility. With the downturn, the company was unable to meet its high overheads,” the spokesperson said.