Food & drink industry

Patisserie Valerie saved in buyout backed by Irish private equity firm | Business – Business Article

The Patisserie Valerie cafe chain has been saved from closure by a management buyout backed by an Irish private equity firm. Almost 100 cafes will be rescued in the deal, backed by Causeway Capital, while another 21 sites under the Philpotts brand have been bought by AF Blakemore & Son, the family owned company which is the largest operator of Spar franchise outlets in the UK. The two deals will save about 2,000 jobs. Patisserie Holdings – the listed parent…

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Interserve needs a good plan B, given the rebellion to its current plan | Nils Pratley | Business – Business Article

The board of Interserve, the large but ailing government contractor, knew it would struggle to persuade shareholders to vote for their own demise, which is an almost-accurate description of the proposed £480m debt-for-equity rescue in which the banks would take control and current investors would be diluted to just 2.5% ownership. Sure enough, the rebellion is on. The New York-based hedge fund Coltrane was first out of the traps last week, declaring it wants to vote out Interserve’s entire board…

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Mike Ashley withdraws his surprise bid for Patisserie Valerie | Business – Business Article

Sports Direct has pulled out of the bidding for Patisserie Valerie, just two days after emerging as a surprise suitor for the stricken cake chain. Mike Ashley’s sportswear group walked away from talks on Sunday, ending the prospect that Patisserie Valerie could join House of Fraser, Evans Cycles and Sofa.com in the Sports Direct stable. The approach, made last Friday, was an unexpected twist in the battle to rescue Patisserie Valerie, which fell into administration in January after a £40m…

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Off-licence chain Oddbins calls in administrators | Business – Business Article

The owner of Oddbins has appointed administrators to its retail businesses, putting about 550 jobs at risk. European Food Brokers has appointed Duff & Phelps as administrator to its retail operation, made up of 45 Oddbins stores, 56 Wine Cellar Trading and Whittalls Wine Merchants and two convenience stores. The parent group and its drinks distribution business has not entered administration and will continue to trade. Oddbins was founded in 1963 by the entrepreneur Ahmed Pochee, who began by delivering…

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Ocado’s secret talks with M&S could spell the end for Waitrose tie-up | Business – Business Article

Ocado has held secret talks with Marks & Spencer over the launch of a food delivery service that could signal the end of its long running tie-up with Waitrose. The Ocado name has been intertwined with Waitrose for the past 20 years but the current supply deal between the companies ends in September 2020. City analysts expect the businesses, which have always had a stormy relationship, to part ways. John Lewis Partnership, which controls Waitrose, no longer has any ownership…

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Thousands of Tesco jobs at risk as bosses look to axe fresh food counters | Business – Business Article

Tesco is embarking on a fresh round of aggressive cost-cutting in its UK supermarket business that could eliminate thousands of jobs and its in-store deli counters. The latest plan reportedly involves the closure of meat, fish and delicatessen counters as well as downgrading in-store bakeries. Staff canteens are also to be replaced with vending machines, according to the Mail on Sunday, with suggestions of up to 15,000 jobs at risk. The cuts are part of a plan to slash £1.5bn…

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