The former chairman of Inter Link Foods has insisted the future is bright for the company despite its move into administration and subsequent sale today (20 July).
Jeremy Hamer, who has resigned from his role following the sale of Inter Link to Irish food group McCambridge, said the company would receive “a new lease of life” under new management.
“(The sale) will maintain employment and provide a long-term solution for customers and suppliers – there is lots of good news in this,” Hamer told just-food this afternoon.
The future of Inter Link, the maker of malt loaf brand Soreen and private-label cakes for UK supermarkets, had been the subject of intense speculation in recent months.
Profit warnings, falling sales, and management changes raised questions and forced the company to conduct a review of its business.
Last month, potential takeover talks with McCambridge broke down after Inter Link’s bankers, which are owed GBP63m (US$130m), were unhappy with the offer drawn up by the Irish company.
Hamer said Inter Link had requested to go into administration due to the way McCambridge wanted to structure the deal. He declined to reveal how much McCambridge paid for the business but admitted it “was not enough to pay the bankers back in full”.
Inter Link’s position as one of the UK’s leading suppliers of own-label cakes has been a key factor behind the company’s financial woes. Hamer said the review of the company’s business, headed by chief executive Ian Croxford, “could not overcome the issue of an over-stretched balance sheet”. However, he insisted the business could bounce back under new management despite the power of UK supermarkets.
“There is a recognition that there is food inflation out there and with a stable distribution set-up and stronger balance sheet, Inter Link can meet the price challenge a bit more robustly,” Hamer said. There is very reason to be optimistic.”
Officials at McCambridge could not be reached for immediate comment.