William Sinclair trades on

William Sinclair is "continuing to trade under the new ownership" after Westland Horticulture bought the company out of administration earlier this month.

Insider Media says Westland will pay £13.5m for Sinclair, including £12.15 on completion of the acquisition, with £600,000 paid for removal of stock from Sinclair's Lincoln site and £750,000 for the lease on Sinclair's Scottish bogs.

Some William Sinclair staff were called to a meeting at Ellesmere Port this week to discuss the future.

New owner, Westland chief executive officer Edward Conroy is on holiday and administrator KPMG Restructuring and Sinclair have directed all enquiries to Westland, meaning no-one was available to answer questions about brand consolidation, redundancies or plans for sites.

Immediately following the appointment of the joint administrators, the business and assets were sold to Westland Horticulture. Debts have not been disclosed but they did stop Sinclair going as a solvent sale. The pre-pack sale avoided taking on liabilities such as pensions. A Danske Bank loan facility helped Westland pay for the business.

William Sinclair, which employs 285 staff, is headquartered in Lincoln, with a large growing media and manufacturing facility at Ellesmere Port and a number of smaller sites located across the UK.

Sinclair blamed the move to Ellesmere Port for its forced sale. The move incurred £2.3m for exceptional production issue charges at Ellesmere Port. Sinclair lost £8.9m before tax in the six months to 31 March 2015 with revenues down to £18.7m from £21.7m, and then identified a future funding shortfall.

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