A total of 450 jobs have been axed after the Lyndale Group was put into administration, which led to the closure of the Sayers bakery in Norris Green, Liverpool as well as 41 stores across the north west and the Sayers headquarters in the city.
The job losses were implemented after a management buy-out by ex-Sayers chairman Sandy Birnie and chief executive Michael Quinlan, who have formed a new company, Sayers the Bakers. They bought back 158 Hampsons and Sayers stores, as well as Hampsons’ bakery in Bolton.
Dermot Power and Toby Underwood, the joint administrators from BDO Stoy Hayward, are currently looking to sell Lyndale’s Peter Hunt business, which manufactures meat pies and pasties, as “a going concern”. Power said Sayers the Bakers would be sourcing “most but not all its products from external suppliers”.
Birnie blamed the company’s problems on “escalating costs of raw materials, as well as soaring energy and fuel costs”. He added: “Unfortunately, we have had to take some extremely difficult decisions in recent weeks, but the situation was simply unsustainable and we have had to act now in order to protect the long-term futures and job security for the remaining 1,500 employees around the north west.”
However, the management’s actions were condemned by the Baker’s Food and Allied Workers’ Union (BFAWU) which was staging its annual conference in Bridlington, North Yorkshire, as the buy-out deal was announced.
BFAWU organising district secretary for the north west, John Higgins, told British Baker that while the union knew the Norris Green plant was set to shut, the closure of what the company termed its “poor performing” stores had come as “a complete shock”.