Countrywide farmers enters administration putting 735 jobs at risk

A buyer is being sought for retailer Countrywide Farmers, which has gone into administration putting 735 jobs at risk.

The Worcestershire based supplier of agricultural goods, which employs more than 700 people and has 48 stores, has appointed administrators from KPMG to handle the sale of the business.

According to a statement on the company’s website, it will “seek a purchaser for the business in whole or part” and has appointed Hilco Capital to assist in the running of its stores while it searches for a buyer.

Although it insisted no “initial redundancies will be made”, Countrywide directors said with “significant regret the business faces a very uncertain future”.

The company announced plans to sell in April 2017, however a potential sale to Mole Valley Farmers could not be approved and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced an investigation on 1 March 2018.

David Pike, partner at KPMG and joint administrator, said: “Following the recent CMA announcement, the proposed retail transaction cannot proceed. Unfortunately, given the significant trading difficulties and cash flow pressures, this has led the directors to consider their options and take the difficult decision to place the company into administration.

“It is our intention to seek a purchaser for the business in whole or part and we have appointed Hilco Capital to assist in running the stores whilst we explore and develop available options. We encourage anyone who has an interest to contact us immediately.”

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