Graf MD sends letter to Vion directors

The managing director of the private equity company that failed to buy the Hall’s of Broxburn meat processing plant sent a letter outlining his frustration to Vion directors.

In his letter, MD Steve Green said that, throughout the process, Graf Mortgage Corporation did not believe Hall’s of Broxburn was for sale. He explained he felt there was little real engagement and little or no evidence to say that Vion was trying to find alternatives to keep the plant open.

Green sent the letter despite Vion's announcement yesterday that it failed to see enough evidence of Graf's rescue plan for the rescue of the Hall's site.

Green said: “Indeed, we would go so far as to say little regard seemed to be given to the sale of the plant or the inevitable impact on the greater Scottish community and farming industry. It is as though you are working to a greater plan, to move meat production, potentially to England, remove what you perceive as an over-supply from the market and to close a factory which will have little or no negative impact on the larger group or its clients.
“Maybe my interpretation is incorrect and perhaps, due to the scale of your organisation, there has simply been a miscommunication and, with dialogue, we can save the 1,700 jobs. I genuinely and sincerely hope so.”

What Green hoped to achieve from sending the letter was for Vion to enter a “dialogue” with Graf to establish whether the bid was actually viable or whether the business was simply not for sale. Green added: “It is our stated belief that the business is not, and has never been, for sale and Vion is hiding behind the rhetoric that ‘our bid is not viable’. We are prepared to stand in front of the national press and prove our bid is more than viable.”

Green’s letter then went on to state that if Vion did not enter into a transparent process, the British public would judge it for “showing scant regard for 1,700 people, their families and the local community”.

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