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Sweets smell of success for new factory owners

By Mid Devon Gazette  |  Posted: March 13, 2012

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A CREDITON factory which went into administration last year has taken on 30 of its former employees since operating under new owners.

And another 20 new jobs are expected to be announced this year by fudge-maker Crediton Confectionary, which took over the former Bristow's of Devon site at Marsh Lane, on the Lords Meadow Industrial Estate, in December.

Bristow's closed in October with the loss of 73 jobs. It was part of New McCowan's Limited, which has also ceased trading.

The factory has now been revived by Cornish businessman David Ives, from St Austell, and a team of investors.

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Joseph Miller, corporate lawyer for Keystone Law, advised Crediton Confectionary in the purchase of the former company from Grant Thornton, its administrator.

Mr Ives said: "Bristow's has always had a very good name and an excellent workforce and I am delighted we were able to purchase the company from Grant Thornton.

"It is very pleasing to get the factory back up and running with many of the firm's former employees and we would like to thank Joseph Miller for his excellent advice throughout."

Bristow's Confectionery, which went into administration in September, was founded 80 years ago and was a large-scale manufacturer of toffee, fudge and bon-bons.

Its products were sold to a broad retail and wholesale client base, usually under the Bristow's brand, white labelled or in bulk, before it ran into financial difficulty.

Crediton Confectionery was formed by a team of investors including Mr Ives, a Westcountry-based turnaround manager, Andrew Hunt, of Pembridge Capital Partners, which is a company turnaround investment and management firm, and Alan Thomas, of Xtra Market, a specialist investment firm.

Mr Miller has particular expertise in acquisitions, recovery and insolvency, and supported Crediton Confectionery on all acquisition and funding documentation, as well as shareholder arrangements for the company.

Mr Miller said: "I'm pleased to have advised Crediton Confectionery in the successful purchase of Bristow's Confectionery. We are working on a lot of turnaround deals in the current climate and it is pleasing to see this new company take on an established brand and keep it going. We wish the new owners every success."

Bristow's was founded in 1932 by Charles Bristow and had been run by the same family for three generations. In its heyday, it was one of the country's most successful and sweet-makers.

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