108 jobs saved with sale of stores

MORE than 100 jobs on the Northern Rivers have been saved, with a buyer now confirmed for the region’s three Farmer Charlies stores.

The local fruit and vegetable chain went into receivership in October last year, with David Lombe and Simon Cathro of Deloitte appointed as receivers and managers.

There are Farmer Charlies stores in Lismore, Ballina and Evans Head.

At the time of going into receivership, then general manager Simon Burgess refused to comment on the situation.

Deloitte also declined to give a reason for the stores going into receivership.

But yesterday the receivers confirmed that all three Farmer Charlies stores had been sold.

One owner has bought all three as a ‘going concern’.

The sale has now been finalised, Mr Lombe and Mr Cathro said.

“It has resulted in 108 jobs, 31 full-time employees and 77 casuals, being saved,” they said in a statement.

But Deloitte would not say who had bought the stores, or whether the new owner was a local resident.

“He (the new owner) has asked that all details are to remain confidential, so we have to respect those wishes,” a spokesperson for Deloitte said.

The receivers also refused to comment on the sale price.

Expressions of interest for the three Farmer Charlies stores closed in November last year, and Mr Lombe said that nine parties had registered an interest in buying them.

Those parties were then asked to provide ‘best and final’ offers, as well as proof of funding, before the final decision was made.

All three stores will remain open now the sale has been completed.

Farmer Charlies turns over about $14.8 million every year.

 



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