The statement mentioned ‘key issues’ which needed to be addressed, and which could not be put right without the necessary funding. Unfortunately, this doesn’t bode well for those employed in food jobs with the company.
In their announcement, the company said: “As previously announced on 26 October 2018, the board was considering a number of remedial actions, including raising additional funding through an equity capital release in order to address the key issues it had identified with the company. “Since then, the board has been in discussions with existing investors and prospective investors. Unfortunately, these discussions have not been successful in raising sufficient capital to address those key issues. The company does not have sufficient cash resources to effect the required restructuring of the business. In the light of the above and the operational and financial uncertainty which the company now faces, in order to protect both shareholders and creditors, the board has taken the decision to place the company into administration and intends to appoint administrators shortly with the purpose of seeking buyers for the group’s business and assets on a going concern basis.”
Crawshaw further announced that they have requested a suspension of trading in their shares on AIM, with affect from 7.30am on the 31st October. Far from being a seasonal trick, this is certainly an unpleasant Halloween nightmare for some of the shareholders and creditors who awoke to the news.
The company added that they will be making further announcements in due course.
Martin Lane, who is the managing editor of the credit broker Money.co.uk, believes that this is not the only high street operator to be struggling in the current economic climate.
“All 600 employees of Crawshaw are in for an anxious period as they wait to learn if they'll suffer the same fate as other high street retailers this year. With the rise of competition from budget supermarkets offering cheap meat options it’s hard for butchers to survive,” he says. “It is undoubtedly distressing news for employees of Crawshaw and their families especially, because their fates are now being kept in limbo. Unfortunately, Crawshaw is just one in a long list of high street retailers which are struggling. Anyone who works in the industry who may be worried about the future of their jobs should hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.”
It's not particularly reassuring advice for anyone in production and manufacturing jobs throughout the butchery industry. Not only is the high street in jeopardy, but if too many chains tumble out of existence, the whole supply chain could end up in threat – particularly the farms, who are already struggling to weather the challenges of Brexit with their migrant workers