More than 2,000 jobs are at risk after one of Britain’s biggest sandwich and food-to-go suppliers was forced to call in administrators.
Sky News has learnt that Adelie Foods, which has been in rescue talks for weeks, has appointed Deloitte to handle an insolvency process.
Employees at the company, which is headquartered close to Heathrow Airport, were informed about the development on Tuesday afternoon.
It comes as Britain’s food-to-go market faces a stiff challenge to recover from the coronavirus crisis, with restaurant and coffee shop chains, along with all other non-essential retailers, having been forced to close since March.
Deloitte is understood to be assessing whether it can stitch together a deal to salvage Adelie from administration.
The company had been in talks with listed food supplier Greencore about a deal , while Samworth, another player in the market, could also be among the contenders to buy it out of administration.
Adelie, which supplies coffee shop chains including Caffè Nero and supermarkets such as Aldi, is understood to have been close to a deal with a major industry player, but a transaction could not gain the required support from watchdogs in time, insiders said.
Prior to calling in administrators, Adelie was owned by Intermediate Capital Group, its former lender.
It took ownership in 2016, after the company lost key contracts with Asda and J Sainsbury.
A large chunk of Adelie’s employee base has been furloughed since March under the government’s Job Retention Scheme.
Adelie and Deloitte could not be reached for comment.