Md and co-founder Andrew Howard (pictured) revealed to FoodManufacture.co.uk that the food service and leisure supplier plans to produce a “super premium” Loseley retail product to rival brands such as Haagen Dazs and Ben & Jerry’s.
He said the deal was signed on May 9, and also includes Loseley other brands Thayers, Granelli and Yorkshire Dales, but does not include the firm’s facility in Cwmbran, Wales. Loseley entered administration on April 19
Andrew Howard, md and co-founder of Beechdean told Food Manufacture.co.uk: “We want to reposition the Loseley brand back as a super-premium product, moving it away from the very difficult and competitive own-label sector that it had gone into in recent years.
"We will be going back to a whole milk recipe from Jersey milk, and using the finest possible ingredients.”
Beechdean has two farm-based facilities, one in southeast England and one in the northwest, where Loseley products would now be manufactured, Howard explained.
He said that the Loseley purchase had the potential to double Beechdean’s turnover from the current £10m in the next two years, and that the deal was privately funded.
“I am a great believer in only spending as much as you can afford. Our strength in a competitive market is in delivering a level of service and quality as an independent company, and it is our key aim to remain independent.”
Howard said the Loseley brand would be Beechdean’s main focus as the company built a retail profile, initially targeting Loseley’s existing customer list.
“We recognise the Thayers brand is very popular in Wales so we hope to develop it with a Welsh manufacturer,” he said. “This deal has happened very quickly so we still need to understand the other brands. We only have short-term plans at the moment”
Administrator tight lipped
Loseley’s factory in Cwmbran, Wales, which employed 83 people, is still in the hands of Portland Business & Financial Solutions, and administrator James Tickell refused to comment on any progress regarding a sale.
The ice cream producer's troubles came to a head in the spring after private equity backer the Foresight Group withdrew its funding.
The firm had struggled to compete against larger rivals and their promotional activity in the major multiples. It was also hit by soaring costs for raw materials such as cream and sugar, problems that have hit companies throughout the ice-cream sector.
In the 18 months to March 31 2010, Loseley recorded a £4.7m loss on turnover of £8.7m, which it blamed on business review costs and reduced turnover of its legacy Hill Station business.