Evesham based Countrywide calls in administrators after deal to sell firm collapses - The Evesham Observer

Evesham based Countrywide calls in administrators after deal to sell firm collapses

Evesham Editorial 7th Mar, 2018 Updated: 7th Mar, 2018   0

THE FUTURE of Evesham-based firm Countrywide has been plunged into uncertainty after the company went into administration.

Talks over a sale of the troubled business collapsed after the proposed deal was referred for further investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority.

As the Observer first reported back in April, company bosses announced they intended to sell the business after the firm made a loss after tax of £9.9million last year.

The company, which employs approximately 735 people, has its headquarters in Evesham and operates 48 retail stores across England and Wales selling a range of farming, equestrian, harvesting and agricultural supplies to consumers.

It also has a distribution centre in Defford. No initial redundancies have been made as a result of the administration.

Over the last 12 months, the company has been exploring its restructuring options, including the sale of its retail and LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) divisions.

The sale of the LPG business was successfully completed on March 1 with more than 60 employees transferred to new owners DCC Flogas.

The company had also identified a purchaser for the retail business, subject to Competition and Markets Authority clearance.

But the deal has collapsed after the CMA announced its intention to refer the process for an in-depth investigation.

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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