Time is running out for the remaining staff at DBC Foodservice after the collapse of the company on March 27.
As Wholesale News went to press 561 of the 983 staff had been made redundant by the administrators with a further 209 transferring to a new employer who took over two DBC depots and its food supply contract for the MoD.
Joint administrator Russell Cash of Baker Tilly said: “I am hopeful that we can sell some depots as a going concern, but I am not optimistic.” He said there had been expressions of interest, but he had a duty to minimise costs and this would mean he would shortly have to look at simply selling the assets of the business.
In addition to the pound;70m a year MoD contract and the depots at Petersfield and Dundonald, which were sold to DBC’s joint venture partner in the MoD supply deal, Vestey Food Group, the administrators also invited Brakes to take over DBC’s 18 key accounts, worth about pound;100m a year, to ensure continuity of supply. This leaves around pound;130m of DBC’s pound;300m annual turnover requiring servicing.
Cash said some of the remaining depots were still operating, but no products were being purchased so it was a case of selling any remaining stock not covered by suppliers’ retention of title clauses.
Cash said the company made a loss of about pound;5m in the year to 25 March 2011 and was on course for a similar loss this year.
In mid March Andrew Ramsden was reappointed chief executive of DBC, two years after he had left the company, and a week later the board announced the company had been put up for sale due to the “very challenging trading environment” it faced.