McGhee buys Fords as it eyes expansion

FORDS Bakery, the Prestonpans business that went into administration this week, has been sold to a Glasgow firm in a deal that saves 87 jobs.

Scullions Wholesale Bakery – a subsidiary of the McGhee Group, which employs 220 people at its site in Glasgow – said the acquisition fitted its expansion plans in Scotland.

Fords supplies supermarkets, food service companies and independent bakeries in east and central Scotland and has a turnover of about 5 million.

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The company's retail business, which operated nine shops in Edinburgh and the Lothians, has already ceased trading.

McGhee Group, established in 1935, claims to sell more than 1.4 million bread rolls every week across Scotland via a fleet of 40 wholesale delivery vans.

Blair Nimmo, head of restructuring for KPMG in Scotland and joint administrator, said: "I am delighted that we have managed to secure a quick sale of Fords Bakery as a going concern to the McGhee Group.

"Not only has this saved 87 jobs in Scotland, but the sale also ensures that existing customers will continue to be serviced and that suppliers will have ongoing business."

Gordon McGhee, managing director of the eponymous group, said: "We are absolutely delighted to have completed the acquisition of Fords Bakery, which fits with our strategy of continuing to build a strong business model throughout Scotland."

McGhee praised the Fords' management team, employees and customers for their support during the acquisition process.

Administrators had made 26 staff at the bakery and confectionery company redundant when they were appointed on Monday. A further 41 lost their jobs from the closure of the retail business.

Severe cash-flow difficulties had been blamed for the financial problems at the businesses caused by the downturn and raw material costs rises.