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Waverley TBS goes under owing £75m

BEER, wine and spirits wholesaler Waverley TBS had debts of more than £75m when it went out of business with the loss of almost 700 jobs, it has emerged.

Beer, wine and spirits wholesaler WaverleyTBS

BEER, wine and spirits wholesaler Waverley TBS had debts of more than £75m when it went out of business with the loss of almost 700 jobs, it has emerged.

The Manchester-based business – which employed around 200 staff at Gateshead – had assets with an estimated book value of £72.5m.

However, these are only expected to realise £9.7m, according to a report by joint administrators Daniel Butters and Bill Dawson of Deloitte.

The majority of the company’s debts were to other companies in the drinks trade, including giants Diageo and Heineken. It also owed the taxman almost £12m.

The figures were revealed in a report filed with Companies House by the administrators.

The company went into administration at the start of October and a week later, the administrators announced they were unable to find a buyer to take it over as a going concern. There were 685 redundancies across the business, including 208 staff from its base in Felling.

The administrators are now seeking to selling off Waverley’s assets, which include stock and the Felling site, which is worth more than £1m.

Waverley, which was one of the UK’s biggest alcoholic and soft drinks suppliers, was hit by the drop in spending in the leisure industry which has seen the number of UK pubs fall by more than 6,000 in the last four years.

As well as the general economic outlook, the sector has suffered because of the smoking ban, beer duty increases and the widespread availability of cheap alcohol in the supermarkets.

Waverley was originally the wholesale arm of brewing giant Scottish & Newcastle. It was taken over by Heineken in 2008 in a joint deal with Carlsberg, along with the rest of S&N.

Two years ago, Waverley was acquired in a £19.2m management buy-out led by former Heineken UK boss Jeremy Blood, and despite a 12% drop in turnover, the company made a pre-tax profit of £4.2m last year.

Parent company Huntingtower Investment Group was also placed into administration.

In addition to Gateshead, Waverley owned nearly 20 sites across the country.

 

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