Devon

Buyer sought after Okehampton firm Polestar closes

Polestar
Image caption Polestar's owners blamed the job losses on "cashflow problems"

Administrators have been appointed to try to sell a Devon factory and save 232 jobs.

The closure of Okehampton frozen desserts firm Polestar was announced on 1 February by owners Privet Capital, blaming "cashflow problems".

Administrators FRP Advisory hope that the factory can resume production and re-employ some staff under new owners.

Workers were at the plant on Monday for a series of seminars to help them find new work.

Polestar and Okehampton Desserts were bought by Privet Capital in November 2010 when they were facing "imminent collapse", said Privet.

It said in a statement on Monday: "Despite extensive efforts to turn around a business which had been in difficulties under previous ownership, the restructuring since our acquisition of Polestar Foods in November was not sufficient to ultimately solve the company's cashflow problems."

"Regrettably therefore, administrators were appointed for Polestar Foods Ltd and Okehampton Desserts late afternoon on Friday 4th February."

Administrator Phil Armstrong said: "Polestar Foods and Okehampton Desserts have been in difficulties since their formation in December 2009 and, indeed, the companies were struggling under their previous ownership.

"Unfortunately, the restructuring of the business was not sufficient to ultimately solve the companies' cashflow problems.

"The companies unfortunately did not represent a viable purchase as a going-concern.

"The directors, therefore, sadly had to make 232 employees at the Okehampton site redundant.

"We are now working towards an outcome where a buyer can be found for the operation, in the hope that some staff can be re-employed under new ownership."

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