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Failed fish farm starts shedding jobs

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Hans J Marter

5 March, 2008

THE FAILURE of Shetland cod farming business No Catch has started to bite locally with nine island employees losing their jobs earlier this week.

Administrators Daniel Smith and Robert Caven, of Grant Thornton, laid off 13 people in total on Monday, including four office staff in Edinburgh.

The remaining nine jobs went at the Sandwick hatchery, the Vidlin head office and the sea sites, a company spokeswoman confirmed yesterday afternoon (Tuesday).

The cod farming pioneers had to call in the administrators last month when the company ran out of cash with debts of more than £40 million.

Yesterday Mr Smith said they had "to cut round the edges", mainly in the management and administration areas of the company.

Three company directors, including managing director Karol Rzepkowski, had already been made redundant on the afternoon of 20 February, the day the administrators were called in.

The world's first organic cod farm had around 130 employees and operated offices in at least six locations when it had to call in the administrators.

Grant Thornton stressed that there had been no redundancies at No Catch's cod processing plant in Scalloway.

Mr Smith expressed his confidence that his team would be able to sell the company as a going concern, adding that within the next two weeks the picture should become clearer.

"We had a lot of interest, but going through that and evaluating that interest takes some time. We have various offers in various different forms and we are currently evaluating those," he said.

He added that there was a possibility that the No Catch brand could be sold separately.

No Catch ran out of cash towards the end of last year and efforts to find new financial backers failed.

The company was set up in March 2005 after city investment firm Milestone Capital financed a £21 million management buy out from Johnson SeaFarms.

No Catch had hoped to satisfy 10 per cent of UK demand for cod by 2012 with 30,000 tonnes of fish.
 


Most recent update - Tuesday, 06 May 2008 17:07
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