Turnaround firm Endless eyes bid for second Vion meat business

Picture: Phil Wilkinson
Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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UP TO 6,000 jobs could be saved as the private equity firm that helped rescue the pork division of Vion is mulling a bid for its poultry unit.

Turnaround specialist Endless has been given several weeks to finalise its takeover plan for the poultry arm, which includes the former Grampian Country Foods processing plant employing 1,000 people at Coupar Angus.

A further 400 people work at a cooked chicken facility in Cambuslang.

Dutch firm Vion sparked fears for thousands of jobs when it announced its withdrawal from the UK last month, citing losses of 
£40 million last year.

The soaring cost of animal feed and a dip in meat consumption during the recession hampered profitability.

More than 4,000 jobs were saved earlier this month when Leeds-based Endless backed a management buy-out of the group’s pork operations led by managing director Seamus Carr. The deal secured 100 jobs north of the Border.

But the Hall’s processing plant at Broxburn, which makes haggis and sausages, is winding down with the loss of about 1,700 jobs.

Now Endless is said to be in exclusive talks to snap up the poultry business after fending off a competing bid from “chicken king” Ranjit Boparan.

Vion’s smaller red meat division includes the McIntosh Donald processing site at Portlethen, which employs 280 people. That is also being offered for sale but talks are said to be less advanced.