Nearly 90 employees at Cork ice cream company Silver Pail face an uncertain Christmas

NEARLY 90 workers at Silver Pail Dairy ice cream shop in Fermoy, Co Cork face an uncertain Christmas after an interim inspector was appointed to the ailing business today.

t was hit by rising input costs, including higher prices for milk, cream and energy. This has given the company a liquidity crisis.

However, it is understood there will be strong investor interest in the company, which holds a number of significant deals with major retailers including Tesco, Dunnes Stores and Musgrave, the company that controls the SuperValu multiple.

The family business Silver Pail Dairy was founded more than 40 years ago. It is managed by Managing Director Thea Murphy, daughter of founder Michael Murphy.

Staff were informed of the difficulties this afternoon.

The company is believed to have annual sales of around €23 million, and despite posting a loss this year and last, it is said to be in the black on an earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) basis .

However, it is believed to have about €4 million in bank debt, with other creditors owing up to €7 million.

The banker of the company is AIB.

KPMG’s Shane McCarthy has been appointed as the firm’s interim auditor. His formal appointment as Examiner is expected to be approved by the High Court in early January.

Just last year, Silver Pail secured a €1.4million deal with Tesco to supply the retailer with own-brand ice cream. The Cork company also makes frozen desserts, frozen yogurt, and sorbets. Its customers are also believed to include the Irish arm of US ice cream chain Baskin Robbins, which has stores in Ireland and the UK.

The Co Cork Company began by manufacturing softwhip cone ice cream and later developed its product base.

The company behind the manufacturer – Silverpail Dairy – is unrestricted and therefore does not have to file public accounts to protect its financial performance from the public.

It is believed that the factory could offer significant synergies to other ice cream manufacturers. While the Murphy family hopes to remain involved in the business, the future of the company now rests entirely with the auditor and its creditors and potential investors.

Business lobby group Ibec warned this week that more Irish businesses were failing due to rising energy costs and called on the government to step up support. Nearly 90 employees at Cork ice cream company Silver Pail face an uncertain Christmas

Fry Electronics Team

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