McErlain’s Bakery in Magherafelt has been sold to local businessman Paul Allen as part of an administration deal that will save more than 260 jobs.
The bakery produces the Genesis Crafty range as well as private label cakes and breads for stores such as Marks and Spencer, Waitrose and Tesco.
The bakery company is based in Co. Derry and has been owned by the McErlain family for over 50 years.
The bakery had experienced trading difficulties in the past year, which resulted in Andrew Dolliver and Luke Charleton of EY being appointed as administrators to the company.
Paul Allen is best known locally as the CEO of Tayto Group, a role which he will continue to hold.
“This is a private investment by me and my family. The McErlain family have built a great business, with excellent products which have national markets,” Allen said.
“I’m hoping that in my non-executive role with the company, I will be able to use my experience in the industry to help guide the growth of both the Genesis Crafty brand and the overall business.”
The Road To Recovery
Allen also welcomed the fact that Brian McErlain will stay on as the managing director, and said that the business has “great potential”.
“This is obviously a time of mixed emotions,” MD Brian McErlain added. “Sadness that it is now a different family who own the business but hope for the future and the growth of the Genesis Crafty brand.
“Paul Allen’s ability is very well respected in the business community, not just in Northern Ireland but further afield and I believe that his involvement will be a real benefit to the company. I’d like to pay tribute to all our staff, customers and suppliers, who have been through some difficult times with us and whose support we have really appreciated.”
Andrew Dolliver of EY said that its priority was to achieve a better result for the company’s creditors, to identify a buyer who would bring the business back to a position of stability, and where its employees were protected.
“We have worked closely with stakeholders in recent weeks to navigate a complex transaction and are pleased that McErlain’s is now set up for a very positive future through the knowledge and experience which Paul Allen will bring to the fore,” Dolliver said.
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.