Crying over (in this case) uncollected milk

Posted on Sep 26, 2023. by NTI

The Lloyd Fraser Group, which provides a range of logistics solutions and supply chain management services across its parent company and five subsidiaries, filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators late last week.  The firm’s customers include major players in the milk and fashion industries and delivers over 50 million garments every year.

Founded more than 30 years ago, the group employs around 500 staff which are employed across the UK in 16 locations including Bristol, Chester, Rugby and Holmfirth. In its last accounts to February 2022, turnover increased by 20.6% to £43.99m with Lloyd Fraser saying this was a result of the fashion logistics division seeing positive recovery after lockdown.  The group had recently signed a lease for a 163,000 square foot warehouse in the Midlands.

One of the group’s major contracts was the collection and delivery of milk and there are fears farmers will have to throw away thousands of litres of milk.  Tanker drivers for Lloyd Fraser, which has a distribution centre in North Powys, were reportedly told that the business closed down "without any warning".

The news has left some dairy farmers unable to have their milk collected today and there is uncertainty over whether another haulage company will step in to help.  "I'm out of a job unless another business takes over the contracts," one North Wales tanker driver said.

Now, Lloyd Fraser's parent company, Barbican Capital, is seeking financial compensation after the milk haulier was 'incorrectly' place into administration blaming "the actions of Close Brothers Limited and Close Invoice Finance Limited".

Barbican said it was 'appalled' by their decision, which had "led to our group of companies... unnecessarily losing related licenses required to meet our customers' needs".  The spokesperson continued “our immediate priority is to ensure that our employees and our customers are impacted as little as possible from Close’s actions.  Once we have done so, we will look to Close to seek compensation for the material losses that they have caused to the Lloyd Fraser group for putting it into administration when it was wholly unnecessary.”

Barbican and Lloyds Fraser had identified what they felt were “major flaws” with Close’s client portal and that these had contributed to the company being underfunded.  Once the problems were identified, the company entered into a dialogue with Close and “an orderly handover” to new lenders had been agreed.  The statement’s parting shot was the lender was guilty of "debanking on a terrifying scale".

Joint Board corporate students: if, in seven weeks, the examiner includes a question about a bank or other lender considering its options you should (after remembering Tinie Tempah) include reference to Lloyds Fraser as part of your answer when considering the reputation of the lender.

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