200 jobs saved at stricken Liverpool food business

Oxfordshire bakery ingredients firm swoops in to save collapsed Liverpool manufacturer Real Good Food, securing 200 jobs at the factory. Tony McDonough reports

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British Bakels is now the owner of food ingredients business JF Renshaw in Liverpool


Administrators of collapsed Liverpool food ingredients business Real Good Food (RGF) have secured a deal that will see the business continue trading and secure 200 jobs.

Last week, Toxteth-based RGF filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators and suspended its shares on the Alternative Investment Market. This followed two years of heavy financial losses amid tough trading.

Rick Harrison and Will Wright from Interpath Advisory were appointed joint administrators to Real Good Food plc and JF Renshaw. Now British Bakels has swooped in to save the business.

Based in Oxfordshire, British Bakels dates back to 1904. It is a bakery ingredients business that exports across the world and generates revenues of more than £54m a year. It is part of the Swiss-based Bakels group of companies.

Two weeks ago the business brought turnaround specialists Interpath Advisory after a long period of tough trading and sustained losses.

In September RGF revealed annual pre-tax losses of £9m in the year to March 31, 2023, a big improvement on the £19m loss reported in 2022. The results also showed a 9.8% fall in revenue to £32.4m.

It has also disposed of Rainbow Dust Colours, its cake decoration supplies division, to European Fermentation Products for £800,000.

This left just its cake and food ingredients business, JF Renshaw. RGF said this month that given the “challenging environment” and “cash flow constraints” its options “may include the sale of the shares or the business and assets of JF Renshaw.

Given the limited timeframe available, it became clear that it would not be possible to conclude a transaction on a solvent basis. So the directors took steps to seek the appointment of administrators.

Immediately following their appointment, the joint administrators concluded a sale of the business and certain assets to British Bakels. As part of the sale, all employees transferred to the purchaser.

James Cawthorne, managing director of British Bakels, said: “We are delighted that JF Renshaw, internationally known as a top quality producer of icings and marzipan, has joined the Bakels Group.

“This brings together two well-known brands with a combined history of close to 250 years. We look forward to working with our new colleagues to develop the concept of ‘Renshaw from Bakels’.”

Rick Harrison, managing director of Interpath Advisory and joint administrator, added: “With a heritage dating back 125 years, JF Renshaw is well known for its range of baking ingredients and cake decorations.

“We’re pleased to have been able to conclude this transaction which will enable trade to continue, and which safeguards employment for its workforce in Liverpool.”

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