Lack of financial clarity blamed for refusal of offer to save Hall’s of Broxburn
THE owner of Hall’s of Broxburn have claimed they did not receive enough financial information to accept an offer to save the West Lothian meat processing plant.
• Private equity firm didn’t provide enough financial information to Vion to allow firms to proceed with offer for Hall’s
• Graf Mortage Corporation claim they could have prevented loss of 1200 permanent jobs
• The plant’s Dutch owner Vion rejected two offers to save the troubled Broxburn facility
Private equity firm Graf Mortgage Corporation claimed they could have prevented the loss of 1200 permanent jobs as part of one of two bids put forward to buy the iconic factory.
Vion announced on Monday they had rejected both offers and would be starting the phased shutdown of the facility later this month.
A Vion spokesman said not enough clarity had been provided by Graf managing director Steve Green around his company’s offer.
The spokesman said: “Vion was fully prepared to give consideration and significant financial assistance to Graf Mortgage Corporation’s offer but, without the necessary financial information regarding both the turn-around plan for the business and proof of funding to effect this turnaround, it has been impossible to progress their proposal.
“This was a particularly disappointing outcome since the indication that Graf Mortgage Corporation would present a viable and sustainable business plan for the business had undoubtedly raised hopes amongst our employees.”
It is believed an offer was made for an independent accountant to be hired to rule on the viability of Graf’s bid.
Mr Green sent an email to Vion’s board of directors yesterday afternoon challenging the company to reconsider his offer.
He called for a meeting to be arranged within 24 hours, adding: “I would invite Vion to enter into a dialogue with Graf as part of a fully transparent process to establish whether our bid is viable, or whether the business is simply not for sale.”
Vion said late yesterday there would be no purpose to a meeting unless Mr Green could provide the previously requested financial documentation.
About 1,700 workers at Hall’s are expected to lose their jobs under the imminent closure.
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