MORE than 200 workers in the North East are looking for new jobs today after a drinks wholesaler announced it was making its staff redundant.
Waverley TSB, one of the country’s largest beer, wine and spirits wholesalers, employed 208 staff at its base in Felling, Gateshead.
It revealed last week that it had called in administrators with the hope of selling the business as a going concern.
But, yesterday, staff were given the devastating news that no new buyer had been found, and their jobs could not be saved. Administrators are now scaling down efforts to sell the business.
Waverley will continue to operate with a reduced workforce of 97 employees while the administrators now begin to try to realise value from the assets of the business.
Nationally, the firm’s closure will result in 685 employees being made redundant.
In recent years, the closure of hundreds of pubs and clubs because of the economic downturn has hit the wholesale business hard.
Daniel Butters, joint administrator and restructuring partner at Deloitte, said: “Regrettably, despite our continued efforts, we have been unable to identify a suitable buyer for the business. While we will continue to consider offers for the sale of the business as a going concern, we will now focus on realising value from the company’s assets.
“Unfortunately, it has been necessary to make 685 redundancies at Waverley’s sites across the UK.
“We will retain a core team of 97 employees to assist us in realising value from the company’s assets.”
The administrators say they are working with JobCentre Plus to provide support and advice to those made redundant, and the Insolvency and Redundancy Payments Service has put together a team to quickly approve claims for employee entitlements.
Waverley was originally the wholesale arm of Scottish & Newcastle, which was taken over by Heineken in 2008 in a joint deal with Carlsberg.