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Cooling industry rocked as WR Refrigeration calls in administrators

PwC to handle administration of leading contractor following difficult trading conditions.

Eddie Williams and Rob Hunt of PwC were appointed joint administrators of W R Refrigeration Limited on 22 October .

According to PwC, turnover in the year to 31 December 2012 was £58m with the business operating from five regional depots with approximately 600 employees and a number of contractors.

The administrator said: “Despite its market leading position, WR has experienced difficult trading conditions in recent months, which led to a funding need. This funding, in addition to the significant investment already provided, was made available by the existing lenders and owners to help facilitate a turnaround of the business.

However continuing losses with associated cash pressures led to a winding up petition being issued by HMRC earlier this month which meant that the business required additional funding beyond that originally projected. The Company was unable to secure this funding and as a consequence, the directors sought the appointment of administrators.”

 Eddie Williams, joint administrator said “Over the last few weeks the directors, funders and other key stakeholders have been in extensive dialogue with regards to securing additional financial support for the business, particularly in light of the winding up petition. Unfortunately, these discussions have not been successful and have led to our appointment as administrators.

“Our immediate priority is to engage with employees, key customers and suppliers and to rapidly review the Company’s financial position and its underlying profitability. We are pleased to confirm that employees will be paid for work done prior to our appointment. Also, ongoing wages will be paid until further notice.”

“However, unfortunately, the level of losses and funding requirements mean that the business may not be able to continue to trade and faces the real risk of imminent closure.”

Readers' comments (5)

  • The effect on their sub contactors and suppliers will be difficult to measure

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  • If WR Refrigeration can be awarded “The Contractor of the Year for 2013” and still not be financially viable, it shows the state that the Refrigeration Industry find itself. I personally know and have worked with many Employees of WR over many years and can only offer my condolences and wish them well for the future.
    Phil Scott.

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  • I see that it was the government that finally pulled the plug (HMRC). Feeling the support and loud complaint from our industry? Or are many of the leaders thinking "Great, we can use this as an excuse for not giving a good pay rise this year!"

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  • I don't suppose, wafer think/ non existent margins helps either.
    Heavy dependency on supermarket work not good.
    I've seen first hand how they drive down costs. High quality service support isn't cheap, but they treat suppliers as if they were selling baked beans.

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  • Sad day for all engineers at WR and the subcontractors - we all hope they get any money's owed.
    Don't forget all the engineers and companies that WR bought in the past to make the monster it became.
    The industry is broken and it needs to be put right - we all hearing it's the retailers is are driving the prices down but the question is why ?
    Sad day for all hope it never happens again hope all the lads get something in place for Christmas

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