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Hopkins asset acquisition completed

Hopkins Range crop
The former Hopkins Catering Equipment’s 60 years of experience will be put to good use manufacturing fish and chip ranges for Hopkins Frying Ranges.

The deal to acquisition Hopkins Catering Equipment’s business and assets from administration has now been completed.

As Catering Insight previously reported, Matt Hopkins, the brother of former Hopkins Catering Equipment MD, Victoria Hopkins, is reviving the name as a manufacturer of fish and chip shop equipment, with the new outfit called Hopkins Frying Ranges.

The new company is also being backed by a longstanding Hopkins customer, Ferhat Akkaya, director of the Fishy Delishy small chain of fish and chip shops in Cheshunt and Potters Bar.

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Close to half of the Pudsey-based former distributor’s 50-strong workforce are being re-employed at the new venture, in an agreement secured by its administrators, James Sleight and Oliver Collinge, of PKF Geoffrey Martin & Co.

Collinge said: “Hopkins is a historic Yorkshire business with first-class design and fabrication capabilities. The business was mothballed in mid-November as its cash position became untenable and since then we have been seeking a purchaser for this highly-respected brand and its assets.

“This is a particularly positive outcome as it provides for many of the company’s workforce to be re-employed and we wish the new business every success in the future.”

Akkaya added: “We were delighted to conclude this deal and rescue a much-admired business and we look forward to continuing to serve Hopkins customers for many years to come. We have taken on around 20 of the business’s former employees and are still recruiting, with a particular interest in highly skilled sheet metal workers and fabricators.”

Doug Robertson of Irwin Mitchell Solicitors and Jason Hall of Hilco Global Valuation Services acted for the joint administrators on the sale.

After 61 years of trading, Hopkins Catering Equipment lapsed into administration in November, with MD Victoria Hopkins telling Catering Insight: “This situation came about because of a multitude of reasons. The trading environment has not been great, especially in the fish and chip sector.

“Thanks to the harsh winter and hot summer, potato crops have been affected and costs have risen for fish and chip outlets, most of which are small, lifestyle businesses. Therefore they have been reluctant to place orders for equipment.

“The online trade is also very competitive, with small margins. We did have a healthy orderbook but unfortunately we hit a cash flow wall.”

She is not involved in the new venture, but wished the new owners well.

Matt Hopkins himself previously wrote on the National Federation of Fish Fryers’ Facebook page: “Since the recent sad events, the messages of support and encouragement from customers and suppliers alike across the industry have been truly amazing. I have never been prepared to accept that this was the end of a family business that I am incredibly proud of and worked tirelessly to achieve its resurrection.

“I have personally been in touch already with a number of previous Hopkins customers who bought frying ranges within the last year and assured them that the new company will be honouring their warranties. This will apply to all customers with frying ranges still in warranty.”

Tags : administrationbuyoutdealerdistributorhopkinsmanufacturer
Clare Nicholls

The author Clare Nicholls

9 Comments

  1. What an absolute joke! What about all the manufacturers that backed the business that have lost tens of thousands of pounds?! The false promises, the lies, the deception! You are an embarrassment to yourselves and the industry

  2. Best of luck to all at Hopkins. Dreadful news last year but onwards and upwards.
    You’ll get your suppliers back and your customers and climb back to the top of your game again quite soon, quite soon.

    1. Hard to do that when the old company owe £400k to suppliers. Why would those suppliers now support a new company that has simply walked away from its debts? I hope nobody supplies them and they go the same way. They have proved they cant run a business so why throw good money after bad? Let everyone know not to touch HOPKINS FRYERS

  3. Describing both the family business owners and its staff as “heartbroken”, she said that Hopkins Catering Equipment would not be going down a pre-pack administration route or re-appearing in another guise.

    Another deceit. !!!

  4. Mathew Hopkins said
    “I have personally been in touch already with a number of previous Hopkins customers who bought frying ranges within the last year and assured them that the new company will be honouring their warranties. This will apply to all customers with frying ranges still in warranty.”
    Have you also been in touch with your suppliers offering a payment plan to pay off the old company debt? No? Didn’t think so

  5. Matthew, Victoria – We are all waiting to hear from you? Show some backbone and answer to people who question you.. Nothing but spineless jokers! You should be absolutely embarrassed and ashamed of your actions. Your actions have a knock on effect to every single supplier you deceived and played for months.

  6. If you look at the accounts you will see that the ‘family’ put over 1/2 a million pounds into the business to keep it afloat over the years. We have lost money as a supplier but unlike a lot of ‘bust’ catering companies the team tried to keep it going and put their own money in. One Director has lost his pension. I agree there have been lots of bad companies going bust in this industry and not giving a dam but Hopkins was not one of them. Good look Matt

    1. David, you speak as if putting their own money into their own company is a virtue we should be praising, the truth is a systemic failure to adapt to business trends and a need to be ultra competitive on price ultimately led them to a growing, easily foreseeable downfall.

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