Hovis said close to deal on Irish Pride
RANK Hovis, Britain's third largest bread producer is said to be in the process of buying Irish Pride, which went into receivership earlier this month.
While no details of any potential deal have so far been made public, suppliers and transport companies doing business with Irish Pride have been told one is under way.
If the reports are true, the jobs of 340 Irish Pride workers split between Taghmon and Mayo are secure, however, local companies which do business with Irish Pride in counties Wexford and Mayo are expecting the worst, with much of their work being taken on by the new owners.
Irish Pride employ 125 people in Taghmon, but they are also indirectly responsible for at least another 50 jobs, particularly as they use local services wherever possible.
The Irish Independent reported last week that the owners of Rank Hovis had bought the Irish Pride debt and were replacing receivers.
Kieran Wallace of KPMG has been appointed as receiver by California-based private equity firm Gores Group, after the US investor bought loans secured on the Irish Pride business from original lender Close Brothers.
Mr Wallace replaces receivers Declan Taite and Pearse Farrell of Duff & Phelps who were appointed by original lender Close Brothers.
Irish Pride is the country's second biggest bakery business, with sales of around €50m a year.
As the UK's leading flour miller, Rank Hovis is one of the most-recognised names in the milling and baking world.
Both Rank Hovis and Irish Pride were asked to comment on any pending deal, but neither company responded.