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Potential buyers for WaverleyTBS

ADMINISTRATORS last night reported they were in talks with a number of potential buyers for Scottish & Newcastle's former wholesale arm, WaverleyTBS.

Waverley was bought out by Jeremy Blood, former UK managing director of Dutch brewer Heineken, with private equity backing after Edinburgh-based S&N was acquired by Heineken, which then sold some of its peripheral businesses.

The company, one of the country's largest wholesalers and distributors of alcoholic and soft drinks, is headquartered in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, and employs 830 staff at 18 sites across the UK, including a depot in Port Dundas Business Park, Glasgow.

Daniel Butters, leader of the restructuring services practice at Deloitte in north-east England, said: "WaverleyTBS is a prominent business within its industry and we are in negotiations with a number of interested parties who are keen to acquire the company.

"The company has a committed workforce and a strong customer network across the UK."

The administrators said they intended to continue to trade the company while seeking a buyer.

Manfield Partners, which backed the previous buy-out, said: "Unfortunately Waverley has increasingly had to contend with very tough trading conditions in the UK on-trade, pressures on consumer spending and tightening credit terms."

Waverley was loss-making when it was sold in 2010 and Manfield said it had worked closely with the firm to improve performance and trim costs.

"Despite all the efforts of the board to find a buyer or strong financial partner for the business it has been unable to do so and therefore concluded that it should ask its lenders to appoint an administrator," added Manfield.

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