Ailing company – sold off by Heineken two years ago – has suffered as UK pubs and bars have closed
Drinks wholesaler WaverleyTBS, which employs 830 workers, has called in administrators little more than two years after the ailing company was sold by Britain’s biggest brewer, Heineken.
The business has suffered in recent years as the number of pubs and bars in the UK has reduced. Waverley was acquired for £19.2m in cash and loan notes in June 2010 by a management buy-in team led by former Heineken UK boss Jeremy Blood. On Tuesday, however, Blood was forced to call in adminstrators from Deloitte.
There was some speculation that the business may be bought by its closest rival, Matthew Clark, though a combination of the two would be almost certain to attract the scrutiny of competition regulators.
Last year’s accounts for Waverley, which has headquarters in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, noted that the company was reliant on borrowings against its invoices for its day-to-day working capital. The directors explained that this facility had been due for renewal in June next year and that negotiations could affect the company’s prospects as a going concern.
Waverley posted a pre-tax profit of £4.2m last year despite a 12% drop in turnover. More than 6,000 pubs have closed in the last four years as the smoking ban, beer duty increases and fierce competition from supermarkets have taken their toll.
Daniel Butters, of Deloitte, said he would continue to keep the business trading in the hope of finding a buyer. “WaverleyTBS is a prominent business within its industry and we are in negotiations with a number of interested parties who are keen to acquire the company.
“The company has a committed workforce and a strong customer network across the UK, supplying to a large proportion of both national and free trade beverage retailers across the country.”.”
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