Irish Pride to lose 80 jobs in takeover by Pat the Baker
Published 08/08/2015 | 02:30
Irish Pride has been sold to Longford firm Pat the Baker in a deal that will save most, but not all, jobs at the troubled business.
Irish Pride went into receivership in June.
Pat the Baker has acquired an Irish Pride plant in Taghmon, Co Wexford, that employs about 250 people. That plant will remain open.
However, Pat the Baker has acquired the equipment, and not the site, of the Irish Pride plant in Ballinrobe, Co Mayo.
While a consultation process with 80 staff employed there will now start, most of them will be out of a job once the plant closes.
The acquisition must be approved by the Competition Authority - a process that will probably take about 30 or 40 days.
Receivers Kieran Wallace and Shane McCarthy of KPMG moved to assure Irish Pride customers that the changes will not affect the continuing production and supply of products.
The sale to Pat the Baker also came as the managing director of the Longford firm, Paddy Higgins, passed away yesterday morning. He was 61.
The family firm, famous for its catchy jingle and 'So Fresh it's Famous' slogan, was established by his late father and mother in Granard over 40 years ago.
The company still has its head office and a large production facility in the town, and a number of family members, including Paddy Higgins' brothers, are involved in the business.
Its position as one of the country's largest bakers will now be sealed. Pat the Baker already employs 400 people, directly and indirectly. It has distribution centres in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Kilkenny, Letterkenny, Castleisland, Galway and Armagh.
Irish Pride was sold in for a reported €6m by investment group One51 in 2014 to WHW Bakeries, controlled by Dublin-based investors Garret and William Lloyd.
The company makes 15,500 deliveries of wrapped bread and soft rolls to retailers across Ireland every week.
Declan Taite and Pearse Farrell of Duff & Phelps were initially appointed receivers by original Irish Pride lender Close Brothers in June.
Just a week later, US private equity group Gores bought loans attached to Irish Pride and replaced the receivers with Mr Wallace and Mr McCarthy.
A number of bids are understood to have been received for the Irish Pride business.