Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Derbyshire chilled food logistics business enters administration

A Derbyshire-based chilled food logistics business has entered administration following the loss of a number of key customers and acute driver shortages.

Helen Wheeler-Jones, Eddie Williams and Matthew Hammond of PwC have been appointed as joint administrators of EVCL Chill Ltd, EVCL One Limited, EVCL Two Limited and EVCL Three Limited.

The administration does not affect the wider EV Cargo Group which continues to trade as before.

EVCL Chill operates primarily in the chilled food logistics market, storing and delivering products for a number of retail customers and suppliers to the UK food retail market.

Headquartered in Alfreton, the business employs 1,092 full time employees operating from warehouses and depots in key locations across the UK including, Daventry, Alfreton, Rochdale, Crick, Bristol, and Penrith.

The business operates 374 trucks and 432 trailers across its transport network, alongside more than 20,000 pallets of warehousing capacity, servicing blue chip food retailers and manufacturers nationwide.

In the period to December 2020 turnover at the business exceeded £167m and was cash generative. However, EVCL Chill has struggled with a loss of a number of key customers and acute driver shortages during 2021 which given its fixed cost base, created significant liquidity challenges. A number of sale options were explored but generated limited interest and management took the difficult decision to enter administration.

658 roles and a number of services have been transferred to key customers under their contractual arrangements, which provides continuity for parts of EVCL Chill and those customers. There are a number of roles, however, that have not been transferred.

Eddie Williams, joint administrator, said: “This has been a very difficult situation and involved intense discussions with key stakeholders on an accelerated basis to get to this position. As businesses move from survival mode to recovery, the financial climate is still very volatile.

“I am pleased that at least 658 roles will continue in a sector that is already facing many difficulties and challenges around inventory, personnel and the wider supply chain. Some vital continuity and stability has been ensured for a number of EVCL Chill’s stakeholders.

“We will continue to fully support all affected staff members during this difficult time.”

Helen Wheeler Jones, joint administrator, said: “We will also continue to liaise closely with customers on the key IT and transport requirements needed for them to fulfil orders, alongside other priority stakeholders including HMRC.”

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