ADMINISTRATORS have been appointed to a business who offer farm and rural supplies.

KPMG’s Restructuring practice have been appointed joint administrators to Countrywide Farmers Plc, which has a branch at Larkfield in Chepstow.

The company, which employs approximately 735 people, is headquartered in Evesham, Worcestershire, and operates 48 retail stores across England and Wales selling a range of farming, equestrian, harvesting and agricultural supplies to consumers. It also has a distribution centre in Defford.

No initial redundancies have been made as a result of the administration.

Over the last 12 months, the company has been exploring its restructuring options, including the sale of its retail and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) divisions.

The sale of the LPG business was successfully completed on 1 March 2018 and over 60 employees were transferred to DCC Flogas.

The company had also identified a purchaser for the retail business, but this was subject to Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) clearance. On March 6, the CMA announced its intention to refer the process to an in-depth phase two investigation.

David Pike, partner at KPMG and joint administrator, said: “Following the recent CMA announcement, the proposed retail transaction cannot proceed. Unfortunately, given the significant trading difficulties and cash flow pressures, this has led the directors to consider their options and take the difficult decision to place the company into administration.

“It is our intention to seek a purchaser for the business in whole or part and we have appointed Hilco Capital to assist in running the stores whilst we explore and develop available options. We encourage anyone who has an interest to contact us immediately.”

Interested parties are advised to contact the joint administrators via Gareth Shaw on 0121 232 3288.