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240 jobs saved as butchers chain Crawshaw changes hands

By John Corser | West Bromwich | Business | Published:

Butchers chain Crawshaw, which has a fresh meat factory outlet in West Bromwich, has been sold to meat entrepreneur Tom Cribbin for £1.4 million, securing 240 jobs across its remaining shops.

Crawshaw's West Bromwich Fresh Meat Factory Shop is under new ownership

Crawshaw fell into administration in October after it failed to secure emergency funding.

The Rotherham-based group confirmed on Monday it had sold its last remaining 19 stores and its Hellaby production and distribution facility to Loughanure, which is controlled by Mr Cribbin.

Through Cribbin Family Butchers, Mr Cribbin previously operated a chain of butchers stores in the Republic of Ireland and sold Gabbotts Farm to Crawshaw in 2015.

The rescue comes after Crawshaw closed 35 stores and one distribution centre in November, resulting in the loss of 354 jobs.

The collapse of the company came after several years of financial losses.

According to its latest set of results for the six months to July 29, the group posted revenue of £21.6 million and a pre-tax loss of £1.7m.

Food mogul Ranjit Boparan held a near 30 per cent stake in the business and his Birmingham-based 2 Sisters Food Group also supplies Crawshaw.

The "Chicken King" – so-called because of 2 Sisters' large-scale involvement in the poultry trade – was also an adviser to the board.

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Following the sale, administrators EY are set to assess how the proceeds of the sale are to be divvied up between creditors.

Shares in AIM-listed Crawshaw remain suspended and its stock will be cancelled following the deal.

The West Bromwich factory shop, off Dudley Street, which opened in 2016, escaped the chop in the initial round of closures at the butchers chain.

The announcement followed the appointment of administrators to the Rotherham-based group on Friday, after it failed to secure additional funding.

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The collapse of the company came after several years of financial losses.

During the sale process led by EY administrators Hunter Kelly and Charles King, more than 50 expressions of interest were offered for part or all of the Crawshaws business.

Crawshaw Group has stopped trading as a result of the deal but the shops continue under Loughanure.

The joint administrators are continuing to market some already closed stores and other related assets.

John Corser

By John Corser
Business Reporter - @JohnCorser_Star

Express & Star business reporter at head office, Wolverhampton. Welcomes all news of companies and business organisations.

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