Van delivery business KerryFresh has entered administration, it has been confirmed.

Allan Graham and Ben Wiles of Duff & Phelps Ltd were appointed joint administrators to Fresh To Store Limited, which trades as KerryFresh, on Friday (23 March).

Allan Graham, joint administrator, said the failure of Palmer & Harvey last year and the loss of its biggest customer in February had contributed to a “significant funding requirement”.

“The business had been in turnaround since it was acquired by way of a management buy-out in 2015, but was impacted by the failure of Palmer & Harvey, when that business went into administration in November last year. The cash flow pressure resulting from the delay in the settlement of the insurance claim was then exacerbated further in February of this year, when the company was left with no option but to exit its supply agreement with its largest customer, due to the withdrawal of insurance cover on the customer,” he said.

“The ongoing financial pressures it was facing alongside the loss of these customers meant that it had a significant funding requirement. The company’s management team have been trying to secure additional investment into the business or find a purchaser for the Company in recent weeks but, unfortunately, both strategies proved unsuccessful and insolvency became unavoidable at the end of last week.

“Our immediate short-term strategy is to exhaust all remaining options as quickly as possible in respect of potential buyers that may seek to re-start the business in short order, whether that is for the whole business or in parts. This will hopefully allow us to source continuing employment for the company’s workforce, minimise the disruption caused to customers, secure new tenants for the company’s sales depots and maximise asset realisations for creditors,” Graham added.

The announcement on Monday (26 March) afternoon followed a few days of uncertainty for retailers. Stores did not receive deliveries as scheduled on Friday, although retailers contacted by C-Store maintained that this was not the first time that vans had not turned up as expected.

Another customer was this morning advised to get his supplies from Booker instead, and reported that notices were posted on depot doors.

Based in Swindon, KerryFresh traded from 19 sales centres and a distribution centre in Manchester providing a national delivery network supplying chilled products, mainly sandwiches, savoury pastry and snacks, to the convenience sector. The company had over 200 refrigerated vehicles and 300 employees.