Earlier this month, The Grocer revealed rival suppliers were running the slide rule over the company after venture capitalist Foresight Group pulled the plug on its funding (9 April, p8).
James Tickell and Carl Faulds of Portland Business and Financial Solutions were appointed as joint administrators of the company on 19 April and are seeking buyers for the business or its assets.
Companies were given until 27 April to submit offers. As The Grocer went to press, the administrators revealed that a number of parties had expressed an interest and said they were hopeful of concluding a sale in early May.
Beechdean Farmhouse Dairy Ice Cream confirmed it had put in a bid. "It's a big factory with little kit but to do the right deal we've got to be brave and do the whole thing," said co-founder Andrew Howard.
Frederick Dairies said it was interested in acquiring some of Loseley's equipment, staff and rights to branded assets, and Somerset-based Lovingtons has bid for its branded assets. A Spanish own-label ice cream manufacturer for Tesco is also understood to be bidding.
Loseley employed about 83 staff, all of whom face redundancy if it can't be sold. The administrators are under pressure to conclude a sale before stock runs out. If they can't, the value of the business could be destroyed, warn experts.
Morrisons eyed Loseley's 80,000 sq ft factory in Cwmbran but pulled out of discussions this month.
Mike Lewis, an ex-Morrisons frozen food buyer and founder of Good Feeling Solutions, which has lost its main consultancy client and the manufacture of its GFS branded ice cream, is now seeking a new partner.
"My biggest frustration is for Morrisons and Iceland who really supported us," he said. "Without Loseley, the UK's own-label supply of bulk ice cream and choc ices becomes, once again, very restricted."