WJ PYE has gone into administration after accruing large trading losses.
The Lancaster-based feed milling firm had four factories in the north-west and west of the country where it has produced in excess of 400,000t of feed a year.
Feed miller Carrs Billington has snapped up the assets and the debtors of its stricken competitor after six weeks of secret talks. The price has not been disclosed.
But Carrs’ chief executive, Chris Holmes, said he planned to close three mills, taking 300,000t out of production and ensuring the remaining factory was running at full tilt.
The four factories are located in Lancaster and Blackburn in Lancs, Shrewsbury in Shrops and Langwathby in Cumbria.
Pye’s collapse into administration is likely to leave creditors out of pocket, with haulage companies said to be among those who have lost the most.
But Pye has also been struggling with considerable debts from its acquisition of feed miller J Bibby Agriculture at the end of 2003.
The small family-owned firm trumpeted its takeover of the much larger Bibby at the time, claiming it had surprised the industry.
The move leaves Carrs Billington at the top of the league table for ruminant feed production.
For the full story, see Farmers Weekly magazine, July 22 edition.