Waverley TBS now officially in administration
Scottish licensees and drinks professionals have been shocked by the demise of Waverley TBS earlier this month. The company was put into administration on 2nd October, along with the Huntingtower Investment Group, who acquired the group on behalf of Manfield Partners in 2010. Now the joint administrators, Daniel Francis Butters and William Kenneth Dawson of Deloitte LLP will attempt to sell the company as a going concern.
The shock news came after it appears HMRC put a halt to the Waverley releasing goods from Bond. Customers in Scotland were left in the dark as the news broke, with some expecting deliveries. Subsequently they have had to try and secure wine supplies from other wholesalers. Said one industry source, “I feel for Waverley’s suppliers. They really could be out of pocket.” While another said, “It has been on the cards for a few months.”
Former Scottish boss Ian Cumming told DRAM, “It is a sad day for the trade in Scotland. Having spent 16 years there it was a great company to work for and a successful business. It has a long and proud heritage in Scotland and the whole of the UK and was quite pioneering in the on trade wine category for quite some time. With all the economic/legislative issues and closures facing the on trade over the past few years it has undoubtedly put margin pressures on the suppliers and they have responded with some exceptionally aggressive offers in recent months – presumably aiming to provide cash flow.”
He continued, “Waverley have had many good people over the years , and still do now , and I feel that sometimes they had forgotten how important great quality people are in providing an on trade offer – and recognising them accordingly.”
Latest accounts looked promising with profits to December 2011 improving by 5.5% to a pre-tax profit of £4.2m despite revenue falling to £309.4m – a 11.6% drop.