Following our appointment as Joint Administrators on 7th March 2018, all Countrywide Farmers Plc – in administration stores have ceased to trade and have now closed.

The Joint Administrators have been successful in concluding sales on a going concern basis for the following 18 stores:

1.Bridgnorth, 2. Crewkerne, 3. Dartington, 4. Helston, 5. Otterham, 6. Raglan, 7. Thame, 8. Wadebridge, 9. Chepstow, 10. Tavistock, 11. Wardle, 12. Twyford, 13. Newmarket, 14. Penzance, 15. Bromsgrove, 16. Liskeard, 17. Cirencester, 18. Taunton

It is anticipated that agents will be appointed shortly / mid June 2018 to market the Company’s remaining freehold properties for sale, these are detailed below, the relevant boards will be placed at each site and particulars will be made available accordingly. Adam Heath at PHD Property on 0797932661 or 0117 3790522 or email [email protected] is scheduling interest, please be assured that no individual or group sales are being undertaken and that those who have expressed an interest on a “property only” basis will have an opportunity to make offers on the freeholds.

1. Abergavenny, 2. Bearley, 3. Bourton, 4. Bridgend, 5. Bromyard, 6. Chipping Norton, 7. Defford, 8. Finmere, 9. Hereford, 10. Evesham, 11. Ledbury, 12. Llanrindod Wells, 13. Leominster, 14. Melksham, 15. Nuneaton, 16. Presteigne, 17. Stockton, 18. Thornbury, 19. Tredington, 20. Upton, 21. Whitchurch, 22. Wrexham

For any other aspects or questions regarding the Countrywide Farmers PLC administration, including details of how to make an unsecured claim, please see the attached link to the KPMG insolvency portal http://www.insolvency-kpmg.co.uk/case+KPMG+PI305B0644.html

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Notice filed to appoint administrators

Countrywide Farmers plc (“Countrywide” or “the Company”), one of the UK’s leading suppliers of products, services and advice to the rural community, today provides a further update. 

Over the course of the last year the Board of Countrywide have continued to review strategic options for the Company, seeking to protect the position of stakeholders and the employment of over 800 staff. Countrywide comprised a successful and highly profitable LPG business and an unprofitable Retail business, together with a significant legacy pension scheme liability and a freehold property portfolio. The Board have, through this period of review, taken extensive and appropriate professional advice. Significant focus has been placed on liquidity against a backdrop of weakening Retail performance impacted by withdrawal of credit insurance cover and tightening of supplier credit lines. The Board have also maintained open dialogue with banking partners HSBC and Pension Trustees who represent the key secured creditors.

In April 2017 the Board announced the intention to explore the sale of the Retail business, having already taken action to reduce the cost base and close loss-making stores to improve profitability. The aim of this was to create a sustainable restructured Company which could support the pension scheme. The Board sought to preserve the current corporate structure with a profitable LPG business and property portfolio, whilst securing a future for the Retail business. On the 23rd October 2017, the Board announced that it had agreed terms to sell its Retail business to Mole Valley Farmers Ltd, which was subject to review by the Competition and Markets Authority. Whilst the transaction was pursued as representing the best available outcome with regard to deliverability, this business sale had taken longer to progress and conclude than the Board had expected. As a result, the Board decided that it was appropriate to progress a sale of the successful Countrywide LPG business to secure and maximise value to creditors. The sale of this business to DCC plc was completed on the 1stMarch 2018 for a value of £28.75m. Proceeds from this sale have been largely utilised to pay down banking facilities with HSBC. In respect of the Retail sale, the Competition and Markets Authority Phase 1 review has now also 0concluded. The Board is disappointed to report that the sale has not received approval to proceed and has been referred into a Phase 2 process, which ordinarily can be expected to take up to 6 months to conclude.

The Board of Countrywide Farmers plc has carefully considered the implications of this extended timeframe and has discussed options with Mole Valley Farmers to continue a transaction through a phase 2 process. After receiving extensive professional advice, the Board has concluded that it will be unable to meet its financial obligations for this extended period of time. The Board therefore confirms today that it has filed a notice appointing David Pike, Mark Orton and William Wright, partners of KPMG LLP to act as administrators of the Company. Following their appointment, the administrators will determine the appropriate course of action and future for the business. It is with significant regret that the Countrywide Retail business which trades from 48 stores and employs over 700 staff will now face a very uncertain future.

The Directors of Countrywide Farmers plc accept full responsibility for this statement

Find more information about Countrywide at www.countrywidefarmers.co.uk

Countrywide Farmers plc
Gareth Thomas (Chairman)
Julie Wirth (CEO/CFO)

KPMG
Harriette Pearson: Tel No. 0121 232 3088.


Completion of LPG sale

Countrywide Farmers plc (“Countrywide” or “the Company”), one of the UK’s leading suppliers of products, services and advice to the rural community, today confirms completion of the sale of the Countrywide LPG business to DCC plc.

The deal, which was first announced on the 11th January 2018, confirms the sale of the LPG business for a total consideration of £28.75m.

Commenting on the deal, Countrywide Chief Executive Julie Wirth said: "We are delighted to have completed the sale of the LPG business which secures the future for the Countrywide LPG business, brand and team. I would like to thank the LPG team for their significant contribution to the business and wish them well for the future."

The Directors of Countrywide Farmers plc accept full responsibility for this statement.

Find more information about Countrywide at www.countrywidefarmers.co.uk 

Countrywide Farmers plc 
Gareth Thomas (Chairman) Tel: 01386 429511 
Julie Wirth (CEO/CFO)

Walbrook PR Ltd

Tel: 020 7933 8780 or Mob: 07980 541 893

Paul McManus (Media Relations) 

[email protected]

Strategic update on the sale of the Retail business – CMA decision

Countrywide Farmers plc (“Countrywide” or “the Company”), one of the UK’s leading suppliers of products, services and advice to the rural community, today provides a further update towards the sale of the Countrywide Retail business.

On the 23rd October, the Board of Countrywide Farmers plc announced that it had agreed terms to sell its Retail business to Mole Valley Farmers Ltd. The Retail sale was subject to review by the Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) for which the initial Phase 1 decision has now been announced.

The CMA have reviewed the competition aspects of this transaction and have found that there is a realistic prospect of substantial lessening of competition in relation to retail country stores and the supply of bulk agricultural products in a number of local areas. We disagree with the market analysis and believe it does not sufficiently take into account the broader competitive landscape within which our business operates.

We will continue to work together with Mole Valley Farmers to determine undertakings which will satisfy CMA requirements and enable this transaction to progress, so securing the future for 48 stores and over 600 staff who work in and support them. This process is expected to be concluded in the next two weeks.

The Directors of Countrywide Farmers plc accept full responsibility for this statement.

Find more information about Countrywide at www.countrywidefarmers.co.uk 

Countrywide Farmers plc 
Gareth Thomas (Chairman) Tel: 01386 429511 
Julie Wirth (CEO/CFO) 

Walbrook PR Ltd

Tel: 020 7933 8780  or  Mob: 07980 541 893

Paul McManus (Media Relations) 

[email protected]


Strategic update and sale of the LPG business

Countrywide Farmers plc (“Countrywide” or “the Company”), one of the UK’s leading suppliers of products, services and advice to the rural community, today provides a further strategic update. 

On the 23rd October, the Board of Countrywide Farmers plc announced that it had agreed terms to sell its Retail business to Mole Valley Farmers Ltd. The sale was subject to review by the Competition and Markets Authority, with completion expected to take place before the end of January 2018. Whilst progress has been made, completion is not now expected to take place by the end of January 2018, to enable competition review work to be progressed. The anticipated completion date has been extended by agreement with the purchaser to take place by 16th March 2018. 

Arising from the extended timeframe in relation to completion of the Retail sale, the Board has considered that it is appropriate to progress an expedited sale of the successful Countrywide LPG business. This is being progressed to ensure that it maintains sustainable value within its current going concern status. The Board is pleased to confirm that it has agreed terms to sell the Countrywide LPG business to DCC plc. Under these terms, DCC plc will acquire the trade and assets of the LPG business for a total consideration of £28.75m, with completion targeted before the end of March 2018. 

Commenting on the deal, Countrywide Chief Executive Julie Wirth said: “We are delighted to have reached an agreement with DCC plc to acquire our LPG business. This represents an excellent opportunity for the Countrywide LPG brand to continue to grow and flourish within a leading international sales, marketing and support services group which has a strong LPG division currently operating in nine countries across Europe.” 

Henry Cubbon, Managing Director of DCC LPG said: “We are delighted to welcome the Countrywide Rural Energy – LPG team to the DCC business and look forward to continuing to develop the Countrywide LPG brand into the future.” 

Share trading remains suspended in light of the ongoing strategic developments taking place within the business. 

The Directors of Countrywide Farmers plc accept full responsibility for this statement.

Find more information about Countrywide at www.countrywidefarmers.co.uk 

Countrywide Farmers plc 
Gareth Thomas (Chairman) Tel: 01386 429511 
Julie Wirth (CEO/CFO) 

Walbrook PR Ltd

Tel: 020 7933 8780  or  Mob: 07980 541 893

Paul McManus (Media Relations) 

[email protected]


Changes to the Board at Countrywide Farmers plc

In April this year, the Board of Countrywide Farmers plc announced that it was exploring the potential sale of its Retail business. The Company announced that it had agreed terms with Mole Valley Farmers Ltd on 23rd October 2017, with an expected completion before the end of January 2018. In addition, the Company has sold its 80% shareholding in MSF Welland Valley Feeds Ltd and is in the process of winding down and transferring its Turf & Amenity business to an alternative provider.

As a consequence of these decisions, the Board has reviewed the future structure of the Company and agreed that the role and responsibilities of the Chief Executive Officer would change substantially. In light of this, the Board has accepted the resignation of John Hardman who will leave the Company in January 2018.

The Board is pleased to announce that Julie Wirth, currently Chief Financial Officer will step up to the role of Interim Chief Executive Officer – working with John Hardman during a handover period and taking full responsibility from the beginning of January 2018.

The Board would like to thank John for his service to the Company over the last 32 years and wish him every success for the future.

The Directors of Countrywide Farmers plc accept full responsibility for this statement Find more information about Countrywide at www.countrywidefarmers.co.uk.

Countrywide Farmers plc

John Hardman (CEO)                                                       Tel: 01386 429511

Julie Wirth (CFO)

Walbrook PR Ltd

Tel: 020 7933 8780  or  Mob: 07980 541 893

Paul McManus (Media Relations)

 [email protected]

                                                     


BETA Dog Food – Helps Keep Dogs Healthy Inside and Out

Countrywide offers a wide range of dog food to help keep dogs healthy, whatever their age, breed or activity levels. One food that we’ve been proud to bring you for a number of years is BETA.

Why is PURINA® so proud of BETA®? Well read on to find a bit more about the product and understand why it offers a tailored range of nutrition, which could be the ideal food for your dog both to meet his or her nutritional needs and to help optimise their health.

BETA is all about delivering tailored nutrition to your dog using selected natural ingredients – allowing them to be a proper dog and enjoy their food whilst offering a number of benefits for them too.

Purina put selected natural ingredients into every pack. These include:

  • carrots,
  • parsley,
  • spinach,
  • chicory
  • and wholegrains

These are included in every pack of food and they make sure there are no added artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.

BETA contains a natural prebiotic (chicory) which helps support digestive health by promoting a beneficial balance of ‘good bugs and bad bugs’ in the gut. It also contains ‘dual kibble’ – with a variety of differently shaped kibbles. These look fun, but they are there to do much more than that. It takes longer for dogs to pick up the pentagons and chew them than the squares, helping to slow down eating and assist digestion. Dogs are less able to ‘bolt’ down their food quickly, which can often lead to regurgitation, so it is ideal for food-orientated dogs who enjoy their food a bit too much sometimes. Every bag of BETA contains all of these benefits, but there are also products for specific needs, which contain added benefits. Nutrition is tailored to meet the needs of you and your dog, by providing different life stage diets (puppy, adult and senior) and addressing particular needs your dog may have such as food specially formulated for a sensitive skin or digestion, a light version for those prone to putting on weight, and a working version for dogs that are particularly active.

PUPPY contains DHA, which is essential for growing puppies to help the development of their brain and vision, and essential vitamins and minerals to help bone growth – particularly important if you have a large breed puppy as they have lots of growing to do.

ADULT contains all of the essential vitamins and minerals needed to help support healthy teeth and bones, zinc and omega 3 & 6 fatty acids for a healthy skin and shiny coat and great levels of protein to help support strong muscles.

BETA also has a MAINTENANCE version too with extra antioxidants to help support natural defences. BETA products tailor for SMALL, MEDIUM and LARGE dogs.

SENIOR contains omega 3 fatty acids, to support healthy joints as they become a little older and creakier, and antioxidants to help support their healthy immune system.

SENSITIVE contains easily digestible ingredients including high quality salmon protein to help support good digestion, and vitamins, fatty acids and zinc – important skin nutrients to help reduce possible discomfort. In addition, help support sensitive skin. It also contains beet pulp which helps to improve stool quality so what comes out the back end should be nicely formed.

LIGHT is lower in fat (20% lower than BETA Adult) for healthy weight management, and contains an ideal balance of protein and fat to support good body condition during weight management.

WORKING is higher in protein and fat to help replenish energy stores during active periods, and can help if your dog is underweight and needs to put on a little bit of weight. Essential amino acids and proteins help support muscles during exercise and aids repair afterwards.

So whatever the needs of your dog, BETA should be able to more than fit the bill to provide them with complete nutrition to help keep them healthy and active and support them throughout life. Give it a go today.

From our Purina Vet Ellie

Purina Beta Dog Food At Countrywide

®Reg. Trademark of Société des Produits Nestlé S.A.


Countrywide agrees terms to sell its Retail business to Mole Valley Farmers Ltd.

Following the announcement on the 2nd October that Countrywide had entered into exclusive discussions, Countrywide confirms that it has now agreed terms to sell its Retail business to Mole Valley Farmers Ltd.

Under the terms of the sale, Mole Valley will acquire the Retail business which will include 48 of the 53 currently trading stores, support teams and IT operating systems for a value that is dependent upon stock levels in the business at time of completion. Countrywide will retain all freehold properties, with Mole Valley entering into lease agreements as a tenant. The sale is subject to review by the Competition and Markets Authority, with completion expected to take place before the end of January 2018.

The Retail business comprises 53 trading stores and a fully operational website supported by field, distribution and head office teams. The sale of the Retail business will affect around 750 employees whom are expected to transfer to Mole Valley following consultation under the “TUPE” process (Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006). The stores that will not be transferring and therefore close are Amesbury, Glastonbury, Honiton, Towcester and Wenvoe.

Commenting on the deal, Countrywide Farmers Chief Executive John Hardman said: “We are delighted to have reached an agreement with Mole Valley Farmers. This represents an excellent opportunity to secure the future of our Retail business with an established sector leading company. I would like to thank all of our staff who work within the Retail business and have remained committed through a significant period of change and uncertainty. We are very grateful for their contribution and wish them all the very best for the future.”

Andrew Jackson, Chief Executive of Mole Valley Farmers, said: “We very much look forward to welcoming and integrating the Countrywide Retail team into the company. My perception is that the staff have remained loyal and focussed on maintaining business performance despite uncertainty about their futures, which is a commendable measure of their stamina and commitment to the business and customers alike.”

Following a period of major change, Countrywide will focus, moving forward, on the growth and development of its Rural Energy - LPG business to create value for key stakeholders. Rural Energy - LPG currently supplies bulk LPG and bottled gas to both commercial and rural domestic customers.

The Directors of Countrywide Farmers plc accept full responsibility for this statement Find more information about Countrywide at www.countrywidefarmers.co.uk.

Countrywide Farmers plc

John Hardman (CEO)                                                       Tel: 01386 429511

Julie Wirth (CFO)

Walbrook PR Ltd

Tel: 020 7933 8780  or  Mob: 07980 541 893

Paul McManus (Media Relations)

[email protected]

                                                     


Countrywide Farmers Plc - Strategic Update

Countrywide Farmers plc (“Countrywide” or “the Company”), one of the UK’s leading suppliers of products, services and advice to the rural community, today provides a further strategic update.

Following the announcement of its intention to explore the potential sale of the Retail business in April, Countrywide reports encouraging progress towards a sale and confirms that it has entered into exclusive discussions with Mole Valley Farmers Ltd. This process and negotiation of detailed terms is expected to take a number of weeks to conclude, with the Company targeting completion by the end of the year. This represents an excellent opportunity to secure the future of the retail business with an established sector leading company for our customers and employees.

Countrywide also confirms today that it has completed the sale of its 80% shareholding in MSF Welland Valley Feeds Ltd to the existing Management team for a consideration of £1m. MSF Welland Valley Feeds Ltd comprises a single retail store based in Market Harborough which operates as an entirely standalone business. Net proceeds from the sale will be utilised to reduce bank facilities.

Countrywide also further confirms that it is in the process of winding down and transferring its Turf and Amenity business to an alternative provider, enabling the Turf and Amenity team to continue to serve customers under new ownership.

We are encouraged to report that trading performance in the LPG business continues in line with expectations.

In light of the developments confirmed today, the Countrywide Board has taken the decision to suspend trading in its shares with immediate effect.

 The Directors of Countrywide Farmers plc accept full responsibility for this statement

Find more information about Countrywide at www.countrywidefarmers.co.uk

Countrywide Farmers plc

John Hardman (CEO)                                                      Tel: 01386 429511

Julie Wirth (CFO)   

Walbrook PR Ltd

Tel: 020 7933 8780  or  Mob: 07980 541 893

Paul McManus (Media Relations)

[email protected]


Speedy-Mash Fibre from SPILLERS®

Countrywide Farmers are pleased to bring you New SPEEDY-MASH Fibre from SPILLERS®.

Keep your horse happy and healthy this winter with SPILLERS® SPEEDY-MASH Fibre. It's a new super-fast soaking sugar beet blend with an irresistible apple aroma and it takes less than a minute to prepare.

SPILLERS® SPEEDY-MASH Fibre is high in fibre, low in starch and molasses free so it's suitable for every horse or pony including good doers and those prone to laminitis. It soaks in 60 seconds to form an appetising apple-scented mash, which also makes it perfect for senior horses with poor teeth; especially those who have difficulty chewing long fibre.

With a full range of vitamins and minerals, prebiotic FOS and probiotic live yeast for digestive health, SPILLERS® SPEEDY-MASH Fibre also contains quality protein to help maintain topline and muscle tone. This is especially important for balancing the diet of horses and ponies on calorie-restricted rations.

SPILLERS® SPEEDY-MASH Fibre has undergone extensive palatability trials and it seems that horses and ponies can't get enough of it. One tester reported: "Satisfying, quick, suits needs and my horse likes it. Holly didn’t stop for air it was so good. She needs a bib! You put a little in and once soaked you get a lot out."

Others said: "A delicious, non-heating fibre feed that appealed to our very fussy thoroughbred, and kept his weight on and brain sane!" and "Mango is a fussy eater and will often throw his food around rather than eat it! He loved the SPILLERS® trial product and happily ate it without pony nuts mixed in." The owner of an elderly horse said: "It's easy to soak, does the job and is very palatable even for the elderly horse that is known to have less of an appetite."

Clare Barfoot RNutr, the research and development manager at SPILLERS® said: "There is something very comforting about feeding soaked feeds which is why bran mashes and sugar beet have been so popular in years gone by, but these traditional practices take time and don't provide a balanced ration. In our modern world where time is precious SPILLERS® SPEEDY-MASH Fibre delivers a balanced super-fast soaking fibre blend you won't have to keep your horse waiting long for!"

New SPILLERS® SPEEDY-MASH Fibre is available from your local Countrywide Store and you can take advantage of a launch promotion of £1 off each bag while stocks last on flashed stocks only. For more details contact the SPILLERS® Care-Line on + 44 (0)1908 226626 or visit www.spillers-feeds.com.


Countrywide Turf & Amenity

Countrywide confirms that following a further review of profitability, it is in the process of winding down and transferring its Turf and Amenity business to an alternative provider, enabling the Turf and Amenity team to continue to serve customers under new ownership.