Parry cites “financially crippling” pension scheme as it details new structure

Parry factory

Catering equipment maker Parry Group has “secured the future” of its business by carrying out a restructure that will enable it to move forward without a “financially crippling” legacy pension scheme hanging over its head.

The company confirmed this morning to FEJ‘s sister publication Catering Insight that it has been acquired by a new entity called ‘Parry Catering Equipment (Midlands) Ltd’ after administrators Wilson Field were appointed last week to ensure its continued trading.

In an announcement describing the move, the new owners said: “The previous company had a financially-crippling legacy final-salary pension scheme; the beneficiaries of which continue to be protected by the Pension Protection Fund…the acquisition and new structure allows Parry to move forward without hindrance for its employees and customers.”

Parry’s last set of published financial accounts, for the 12 months to 30 April 2015, show that it was forced to make a cash injection of £874,000 into the pension fund during that financial year. This resulted in the overall current deficit in the pension scheme falling by £240,000 to £1.7m.

According to the same report, Parry made a net loss of £308,000 on sales down around 10% to £5.6m for the year ending April 2015. For that period it employed just over 60 members of staff, of which more than two-thirds were in production. Figures for 2016 have not yet been filed with Companies House.

Parry Catering Equipment (Midlands) Ltd said that following the buy-out, the business will continue to operate from the company’s Draycott site and “provide the same high standard of service that has built its reputation over the past 70 years”.

Managing director, Mark Banton, stated: “I am really pleased that we have managed to secure the business future for our employees and loyal customer base. This is an exciting time and we are anticipating a bright future.”

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