Buyer wanted for Highland Toffee firm

By Dan Colombini

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags West lothian Grant thornton

Up for grabs. Bids are sought for New McCowans; maker of Highland toffee
Up for grabs. Bids are sought for New McCowans; maker of Highland toffee
The search for a buyer for Highland Toffee firm, New McCowans is hotting up after administrators Grant Thornton confirmed they are in discussions with interested parties.

A spokesperson for Grant Thornton said that it was currently “pursuing expressions of interest”​ for the manufacturer of heritage confectionary brands, following the firm's move into administration last week.

The company remained tight-lipped, however, on the identity of any potential buyers but confirmed significant interest.

Company’s rescue

The administrators refused to rule out interest from investment firm Ambrosia Holdings, which came to the company’s rescue in 2006. It described the link as “just speculation at the moment.”

Speaking last week however, Manoli Vaindirlis, from Ambrosia Holdings said: “We still believe there’s a strong place in the market for the company.”

Despite a recent upgrade in production facilities, this is the second time in six years that New McCowans has gone into administration. The company reported losses of £2.38M for the period ending 31 March 2010, adding to the £1.97M loss the previous year.

The firm reported these losses despite selling more than 140 million Highland Toffee bars a year, as well as other much-loved treats, including the Wham bar and Bonbons.

After going into administration once again last Thursday, New McCowans has continued to trade but seen the closure of three of its production plants at Broxburn, West Lothian and Stenhousemuir.


A meeting between workers of the Stenhousemuir plant and the administrator had been scheduled to take place last Friday but was cancelled.

Grant Thornton did not comment on the reason for the cancellation but confirmed that the plants will remain closed while it allows buyout discussions to continue.

Lawrence Wason, Scottish divisional officer of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers expressed concern at the closures, saying: “There is very little by way of manufacturing industry in the area, any job losses would have a major impact on the local economy.”

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