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John Yarrow buys Yarrow's

Wednesday 12th October 2011

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Taranaki baking business Yarrows (The Bakers) has been sold by receivers BDO to one of the founding family brothers, John Yarrow.

John Yarrow had originally sold his stake in the business to his brother Paul in 2005, resulting in a legal fight within the family when Paul took John to court over a purchase price he alleged was too high, before settling out of court.

The sale, which also includes a solvent Rotorua company, Gilles Bakery, was for an undisclosed sum and follows a five month search for a buyer by accounting firm BDO, who were appointed receivers in May.

“The sale will help to secure the future of the businesses in both Manaia and Rotorua which is an excellent result for customers, suppliers, staff and local communities alike,” said receiver Brian Mayo-Smith. “Other companies in the Yarrows Group operating in Australia are unaffected and continue to trade as normal.”

Yarrows (The Bakers) 2011; is owned by John and Rosaleen Yarrow.

Some 45 employees lost their jobs in a post-receivership restructuring, but another 100 kept their jobs at the Manaia plant near Stratford, to allow the business to trade on, attracting what BDO said in August was “considerable interest.”

Yarrows had total liabilities of $72.8 million on total assets of $76.7 million as at May 30. The bulk of the baker’s debt was to Westpac Banking Corp., which is owed $55.2 million plus interest.

Bethell said employee claims were “high largely due to the long length of service and the substantial contractual redundancy of the workforce.”

Yarrows’ assets were mainly inter-company investments valued at $53.5 million, with fixed assets of some $15.6 million, as at May 30.

Yarrows Traditional Foods held inter-company assets worth $40.6 million and owed $25.5 million in related party loans as at June 2010. Southern Cross Investments held $54.5 million of inter-company assets on related party debt of $52 million.

Unsecured creditors were owed $8.1 million across the group.

The business has been in the Yarrow family for three generations.

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