WR RefrigerationUK: One of the country’s largest and best known refrigeration contractors WR Refrigeration has fallen into administration and could face “imminent closure”.

Eddie Williams and Rob Hunt of PwC were appointed joint administrators of W R Refrigeration Ltd yesterday, after what were described as difficult trading conditions in recent months.

With a head office in Leicester, WR provides the installation, repair and servicing of refrigeration and air conditioning units to the retail, distribution and wholesale sectors throughout the UK. Turnover in the year to 31 December 2012 was £58m with the business operating from five regional depots with approximately 600 employees and a number of contractors.

PwC said that despite its market leading position, WR had experienced difficult trading conditions in recent months, which led to a funding need.

“This funding, in addition to the significant investment already provided, was made available by the existing lenders and owners to help facilitate a turnaround of the business,” said PwC.

However continuing losses with associated cash pressures led to a winding up petition being issued by HMRC earlier this month which meant that the business required additional funding beyond that originally projected. The Company was unable to secure this funding and as a consequence, the directors sought the appointment of administrators.

“Over the last few weeks the directors, funders and other key stakeholders have been in extensive dialogue with regards to securing additional financial support for the business, particularly in light of the winding up petition,” commented joint administrator Eddie Williams.

“Unfortunately, these discussions have not been successful and have led to our appointment as administrators.

“Our immediate priority is to engage with employees, key customers and suppliers and to rapidly review the Company’s financial position and its underlying profitability. We are pleased to confirm that employees will be paid for work done prior to our appointment. Also, ongoing wages will be paid until further notice.

“However, unfortunately, the level of losses and funding requirements mean that the business may not be able to continue to trade and faces the real risk of imminent closure.”

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