The Dundalk-based Authentic Food Company (TAFC) manufacturing plant has appointed liquidators in order to wind down its business, according to RTE News.
The UK frozen ready meals producer was granted permission on Friday (19 October) by the High Court to appoint joint provisional liquidators, Ken Fenne and James Anderson of Deloitte, to Dundalk-based TAFC Manufacturing Ireland Ltd.
It it understood by the Court that the liquidators seek no power to continue trading, only to ensure ‘an orderly wind-down’.
The closure is set to result in the loss of up to 180 jobs.
Staff at the Dundalk facility received notice from the liquidators with the news that the company was insolvent and unable to continue paying wages.
They also said that they would engage with trade unions in relation to a redundancy scheme.
Managing director, Nik Basran, confirmed that the plan was closing due to its unprofitability.
"We have faced some serious business challenges in recent months that have been specific to this site," he said in a statement.
"While we have worked tirelessly to meet those challenges head-on and carried out a comprehensive review of the business to try to find a way to make it profitable over the long term, unfortunately, that has not been possible. We have therefore had no option other than to close the Dundalk facility."
TAFC acquired the facility, which was formerly run by Heinz, in 2015, but concerns over Brexit have been escalating in recent weeks, leading TAFC to review its operations at the site.
The Unite trade union has said that it has met with the joint liquidators, with another meeting scheduled for today.
Unite’s Senior Officer in the Republic, Brendan Ogle, said that there are serious questions surrounding the proposed liquidation of the plant, and had planned to write to Heather Humphreys, Minister for Business, Enterprise, and Innovation over the weekend.
The trade union slammed TAFC for failing to engage with its workers, preferring to communicate through social media, as it said it would not tolerate a repeat of the Clery’s situation, ‘whereby workers and taxpayers were asked to pick up the tab for what he termed ‘sharp corporate practice’.
© 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.