UK hot dog maker Westler Foods has called in the administrators after being unable to fund its pension scheme.

KPMG said today (13 December) that an evaluation of Westler’s pension fund in early 2009 found a funding gap of more than GBP15m (US$23.8m), which the company has since sought to address.

However, despite attempts involving internal and external investment, Westler said this has not proved possible.

Howard Smith, joint administrator, said: “This is an uncommon and unfortunate situation of a well run and profitable business being compelled to enter insolvency specifically because of the scale of its pension deficit.

“The company has a number of extremely interesting contracts so we are trading the business as a going concern while seeking a buyer,” he added.

The business employs around 200 people at its Yorkshire site in the production of canned and pouched food products for brands including Westlers, Multi Menu, Tyne, BigMex, Chesswood, Wayfayrer, Military Rations and Compleat.

The administrators have made nine staff redundant, who are not directly involved in production.