Blog: Andy CoyneShadow of Palmer & Harvey hangs over Kerryfresh administration

Andy Coyne | 27 March 2018

Administrators have been appointed to UK food delivery business Fresh To Store, trading as Kerryfresh.

The Swindon, Wiltshire-based business traded from 19 sales centres and a distribution centre in Manchester, providing a national delivery network supplying chilled products, mainly sandwiches, savoury pastry and snacks, to the convenience sector.

The company had more than 200 refrigerated vehicles and 300 employees.

Its demise has been linked to the collapse of food logistics business Palmer & Harvey.

Joint administrator Allan Graham of Duff & Phelps said: "The business had been in turnaround since it was acquired by way of a management buy-out in 2015, but was impacted by the failure of Palmer & Harvey, when that business went into administration in November last year.

"The cashflow pressure resulting from the delay in the settlement of the insurance claim was then exacerbated further in February of this year, when the company was left with no option but to exit its supply agreement with its largest customer, due to the withdrawal of insurance cover on the customer.

"The on-going financial pressures it was facing alongside the loss of these customers meant that it had a significant funding requirement. The company's management team have been trying to secure additional investment into the business or find a purchaser for the company in recent weeks but, unfortunately, both strategies proved unsuccessful and insolvency became unavoidable at the end of last week."

Graham said the administrators' short-term strategy is to exhaust all remaining options as quickly as possible in respect of potential buyers that may seek to re-start the business, whether that is for the whole business or in parts.

"This will hopefully allow us to source continuing employment for the company's workforce, minimise the disruption caused to customers, secure new tenants for the company’s sales depots and maximise asset realisations for creditors," he said.

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