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More job losses expected as firms prepare to close
MORE North-East job cuts are looming after a drinks firm called in the administrators and an envelope factory prepared to shut.
Waverley TBS, one of the UK’s largest wholesalers and distributors of alcoholic and soft drinks, employs 830 staff at 18 sites across the UK, including 208 at its depot in Felling, Gateshead.
Deloitte was appointed administrators to Waverley, which supplies clients including Thorpe Park and Madame Tussauds parent company Merlin Entertainments.
Deloitte said it was in talks with a number of interested buyers for Waverley and is continuing to trade the business while it seeks to secure a rescue deal.
The collapse comes only two years after private equity group Manfield Partners bought the business from Heineken, with aims to revive declining sales.
Waverley was originally the wholesale arm of Scottish and Newcastle, which was taken over by Heineken in 2008, in a joint deal with Carlsberg.
Manfield Partners said Waverley fell victim to a tough pubs and restaurants market as consumers rein in their spending.
Daniel Butters, head of the restructuring services practice at Deloitte in the North East, offered hope for the business as he said potential buyers were keen, adding: “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.”
The administration follows JJB Sports on Monday, with the loss of about 2,200 posts, almost 100 in this region.
All 62 staff, as well as union representatives, have entered a 30-day consultation period.
Ten jobs have been lost at the firm over the past year as parent company Bong UK attempted to cut costs. Postage price rises as well as the shift towards online communication and transactions was a major factor in the falling volumes of the envelope market.
AA insurance staff in the North-East breathed a sigh of relief last night after the company announced plans to axe about 400 call centre jobs in Cardiff and focus efforts on its Newcastle offices. A sharp growth in online transactions, resulting in fewer purchases made by telephone through conventional call centres was blamed for the move.