Christmas carrot dangles
THE future of the North Coast’s three Farmer Charlies stores is expected to be known before Christmas.
The stores – at Lismore, Ballina and Evans Head – went into receivership last month.
Deloitte partners David Lombe and Simon Cathro were appointed receivers and managers, and they advertised for expressions of interest in the three stores.
The period for expressions of interest closed last week.
And it looks like the stores could be safe, with Mr Lombe yesterday confirming that nine parties had formally registered their interest in buying into the Farmer Charlies chain.
“A selection of these have been asked to provide ‘best and final’ offers, as well as proof of funding, which will allow the receivers to confirm their ability to complete the sale,” he said.
“The final decision as to the successful party is hoped to be finalised before Christmas.”
However, it is not known whether any of the parties interested in buying into Farmer Charlies are locals, or if the three stores will be sold separately or kept as a single entity.
Mr Lombe has not revealed the reason for Farmer Charlies going into receivership.
But he had previously told The Northern Star that Deloitte was keen to ‘preserve the long-term viability of these stores’ by selling them as ‘going concerns’.
He also said employees’ jobs were safe and that the three stores would remain open at this stage.
Farmer Charlies turns over approximately $14.8 million every year, and employs 24 full-time staff, 11 part-time staff and 70 casuals.