Businessman Brian Scowcroft has signed a deal for the company after hearing it had called in administrators following ongoing losses (The Grocer, September 10, p11).
Les Ross of Grant Thornton said that Scowcroft had headed a buyout of the company but declined to disclose details.
The company first came to prominence after securing a loyal following for the Lakeland Willow spring water brand, said to contain the ‘natural aspirin’ salicin, which it picks up as it filters through rare white willow bark in the Cartmel Valley. The company is understood to have run into difficulties coping with the level of demand.
Scowcroft’s father, Ken, founded Swinton in 1957 and built it into one of Britain’s largest car insurers. Sun Alliance paid £105m for a 75% stake in the business in 1991.
Scowcroft and his sister, Janet Lefton, were ranked at number 258 in last year’s Sunday Times Rich List with a combined wealth of £163m.