A supplier of pomegranates, kiwis and other exotic fruits to UK supermarkets has collapsed after rescue attempts failed.

Sabana Incorporated Ltd appointed Brett Barton of Cranfield Business Recovery on 25 July as administrator.

The Kent-based importer and distributor was operated by MD Ed Hawkey, the sole director, and head of procurement and sales Johannes Martin. It had contracts to supply a number of the “large supermarket chains” across the country, but no specific details were available about the size of the supply agreements of the supermarkets.

Barton said the failure came after earlier attempts to rescue Sabana failed to materialise. He added the business succumbed to the pressure of attempting to service its debt facilities having been “plagued” by a number of operational issues.

“Sabana’s liabilities had increased over time – the scale of their debts together with the day-to-day operating costs simply became too large for Sabana to survive as a viable entity,” Barton said. “We now wish to work with customers to secure the best return to creditors at this difficult time.”

Cranfield is continuing to supply retail outlets in the expectation of fulfilling customer contracts as it works to maximise realisations in respect of the book debts and the fruit stock.

Sabana had one director and five staff members, all of whom were dismissed early on in the process.