Findus plant calls in administrators

A North East frozen food manufacturer has been forced to call in administrators, leaving more than 400 jobs under threat.

Newcastle Production, which manufactures and distributes Findus frozen food products in the UK, is suffering from cashflow problems following trading losses and the collapse of its Icelandic backer Landsbanki.

Problems were compounded after the factory was seriously damaged in a fire last week, which is reported to have caused more than £20m damage and has stopped production for at least four weeks.

Zolfo Cooper, which has been appointed as administrator to the company, is hoping to secure a buyer for the business as a going concern.

Nick Cropper, partner at Zolfo Cooper, told local press: "Newcastle Productions is a well established local business and produces a range of high quality frozen food products in the UK under the Findus brand, a popular and long-established food label.

"We remain confident that there will be interest from potential buyers to secure the future of this business and will need the support of all parties to achieve this."

Newcastle Production managing director Vidar Engen has insisted that the Findus brand will not be affected by the administration process.