Administrators appointed to Countrywide Farmers due to 'trading difficulties'
Administrators have been appointed to retailer Countrywide Farmers, which employs about 735 people, due to "significant trading difficulties" and "cash flow pressures".
David Pike, Mark Orton and Will Wright from KPMG’s Restructuring practice have been appointed joint administrators to the business.
The company, which employs approximately 735 people, operates 48 retail stores across England and Wales – including in Bridgnorth, Ludlow, Market Drayton and Whitchurch,
It sells a range of farming, equestrian, harvesting and agricultural supplies to consumers.
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 and over 60 employees were transferred to DCC Flogas.
The company had also identified a purchaser for the retail business, but this was subject to Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) clearance.
Yesterday, the CMA announced its intention to refer the process to an in-depth phase two 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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