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Former Asda CEO Andy Clarke rescues Farmison & Co from administration

Andy Clarke

Online sustainable meat retailer Farmison & Co has been acquired out of administration by a consortium led by former Asda CEO Andy Clarke, for an undisclosed sum.

Clarke, alongside Chilli Marketing’s Gareth Whittle, Christian Barton and Kieron Barton, will recommence operations at Farmison’s production facility in Ripon, North Yorkshire, over the coming weeks.

The retailer’s website will also be reopened, as the the consortium hopes to “stabilise the company after a difficult year” before devising and implementing a growth strategy.

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Clarke, who was the CEO of Big 4 grocer Asda from 2010 to 2016, will become executive chairman, joining Whittle, who was a board member of Farmison prior to the administration.

The retailer, which trades via its own channel and Harrods and Selfridges, went into administration earlier this month resulting in the majority of its workforce being made redundant.

“While unable to navigate the economic difficulties of the last 12 months, John’s ‘eat better meat’ mission that sits at the heart of Farmison’s business, is one we believe has significant potential for growth,” Clarke said.

“We have an opportunity to scale this business and further develop both its direct-to-consumer and wholesale plans, building on the ethos and values of what Farmison stands for.

“Nevertheless, there is much work to do to get the business back on its feet and trading again – not least re-engaging with Farmison’s important network of farmers across the region and re-employing colleagues.”

He added: “In the short-term, our goal is to bring financial stability to the business, and we’re committed to re-energising Farmison’s long-term vision so it can take advantage of the growth opportunities that are undoubtedly available to it.”

FRP Advisory partner and joint administrator Arvindar Jit Singh continued: “We are thrilled to have been able to secure a buyer for Farmison who is able to recommence trading and bring jobs back to Ripon.

“There had been significant interest in purchasing the business and assets of Farmison and a number of serious offers had been put forward in recent weeks, but the proposal from the consortium provides the best opportunity of both re-establishing the business and maximising returns to creditors.”

Image credit: Shutterstock

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