One of the UK’s biggest suppliers of food to coffee shops and supermarkets is in talks with rivals about a rescue takeover.
Sky News has learnt that Adelie Foods, which employs more than 2,000 people, has approached Bakkavor and Greencore, the listed food giants, about a deal.
It also held talks with Samworths, the other major privately owned operator in the sector, prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Sources said on Monday that talks were ongoing and that a sale could be secured within days.
Adelie has been owned by Intermediate Capital Group, its former lender, since 2016, after it lost key contracts with Asda and J Sainsbury.
The business is a supplier to coffee shop chains including Caffè Nero and supermarkets such as Aldi.
Britain’s food-to-go market has been hit hard by the coronavirus lockdown, with coffee shops forced to close for the last six weeks, depriving suppliers of a big chunk of their trade.
A large chunk of Adelie’s employee base has been furloughed under the government’s Job Retention Scheme.
The race to find a buyer for Adelie is being handled by Deloitte, the accountancy firm.
Adelie could not be reached for comment on Monday, while Bakkavor and Greencore declined to comment.
A Samworths spokeswoman said it was not in any ongoing talks about a deal.