AN award-winning pie company has been rescued from collapse after running into financial trouble.
Seventeen jobs have been saved at Andrew Jones Pies thanks to a recovery package hammered out by corporate rescue experts.
The deal will see the business – which was facing cashflow problems – continue to trade under the brand Andrew Jones Pies with funding from a number of unnamed external investors.
The rescue package was devised by Mike Mattok, of Halifax-based Company Doctor Ltd, a firm specialising in turning around companies in difficulties, with Phil Booth, insolvency practitioner at Ossett-based P R Booth & Co and insolvency experts at law firm Irwin Mitchell in Leeds.
Restructuring and insolvency experts Doug Robertson, an associate at Irwin Mitchell, and Mr Mattok finalised the deal, which will see the business receive investment via a newly formed company AJ Pies and Pastries Ltd.
Founder Andrew Jones will continue with the business, which supplies pies and pasties to butchers shops and supermarkets across Yorkshire.
Mr Robertson said the company had been hit by cashflow problems following its move to new premises at Queen’s Mill Road a year ago.
The company had already been rocked by an explosion at its premises in Old Leeds Road on Good Friday, 2009, in which employee David Cole was killed.
Following the move to the new 6,500sq ft unit, the company engaged a specialist food factory design consultancy to advise on a new layout for the site. It also installed a new production line.
Mr Robertson said the installation did not go as smoothly as it might have done, incurring extra costs and presenting the firm with cash flow problems.
He said the company’s difficulties were no reflection on the quality of its products or brand or Mr Jones.
Said Mr Robertson: “Andrew Jones Pies is a well-known brand supplying both local retailers across Yorkshire and the UK’s leading supermarkets.
“The major focus of this deal was to preserve jobs and to keep the brand alive.
“It was also important to protect the jobs of all of the employees at the company, many of whom have been through a difficult time in recent years.
“Everyone involved in the deal is delighted we have managed to achieve this.
“With outside investment we are confident that Andrew Jones Pies will be able to put any problems behind it and bounce back to providing high-quality products to the nation’s supermarkets.”
He added: “It is not easy getting deals through these days, but this is a good product and it was well worth saving.”
Mr Mattok said: “It is refreshing to report some good news in the current economic climate with the continuation of a quality, niche manufacturer preserving employment and trading activity within the local community.”
Andrew Jones Pies supplies a wide range of product lines to companies including Asda and Morrisons – ranging from traditional pork pies and pasties to steak pies, meat and potato pies, steak and ale pies and individual pie ‘n’ peas.
The company won two prestigious prizes at the 2008 DeliciouslyYorkshire Awards, a regional competition designed to promote the best of Yorkshire produce.