Heather Mills has rescued her vegan meals empire in a last-minute £1m deal – after blaming the meat trade for the collapse of her enterprise.
The previous mannequin and animal rights activist, 56, who was married to Sir Paul McCartney for six years, based VBites in 1993.
It went on to turn into one among the main producers and wholesalers of plant-based meat and cheese within the UK however confronted challenges in recent times resulting from Brexit and rising vitality prices.
Final month, the mother-of-one, who lives in Sussex, introduced that VBites had gone into administration, which put 112 jobs in danger two weeks earlier than Christmas.
On her web site, Heather hit out on the meat trade for additionally triggering a decline in gross sales.
Heather Mills at her Valley vegan manufacturing facility in Seaton Delaval, Northumberland, in September 2019
The businesswoman wrote: ‘Sadly VBites finally fell sufferer to the galvanised misinformation at present being undertaken by the meat and dairy industries in addition to the company greed in our market.
‘Brexit has been an utter catastrophe for the provision and upkeep of the sector and the federal government probably has quite a bit to reply for.’
As The Grocer stories, the ex mannequin has purchased the belongings from the collapsed VBites enterprise from directors in a rescue deal that’s value £1m.
The rescue deal has reportedly lined the corporate’s belongings, together with their factories in Northamptonshire and County Durham.
Though it didn’t prolong to the 64 members of employees who have been made redundant, the businesswoman has promised to rehire 40 of her employees.
Heather claims VBites – which as soon as had a restaurant in Hove – was compelled into administration ‘unnecessarily’ and solely given three days discover.
She wrote: ‘This is the reason I’ve chosen to resurrect the corporate myself, at nice private expense, and take management of the operations, personally shifting again to the North East to make sure we’re nonetheless capable of make a optimistic contribution to the way forward for our international meals financial system.’
Mills has publicly credited the vegan food regimen with saving her life after a automotive accident in 1993 left her needing her leg amputated – stating that abstaining from animal merchandise dramatically improved her well being.
The previous mannequin (pictured in 2019) and animal rights activist, 56, who was married to Sir Paul McCartney for six years, based VBites in 1993
Heather Mills stands on the roof of her vegan cafe VBites on Hove Lagoon in 2009. The cafe has since closed
She later obtained a prosthetic leg and resumed her modelling profession.
She confessed in 2018: ‘I did not go vegan for the animals or the surroundings it was simply after I misplaced my leg and the an infection was spreading.’
However the firm had skilled elevated stress on cashflow because of the impression of rising uncooked materials prices and vitality costs, in addition to a softening of demand for different protein merchandise within the wake of the price of dwelling disaster.
The corporate operates from two manufacturing websites, in Peterlee, County Durham, and Corby, Northamptonshire.
Two years in the past the corporate was on the up after it sealed a multimillion-pound partnership with German meals big Pfeifer & Langen – a £3bn turnover group which owns main manufacturers together with KP Meals, Monster Munch and Hula Hoops.
The deal resulted in Pfeifer taking a 25.1pc minority stake within the enterprise.
However gross sales of vegan meals have been hit by rising meals payments as shoppers now not have the cash to splash on costly options.
In August, Past Meat, which provides McDonald’s, reported that its gross sales had fallen 30.5pc over the earlier three months and previously yr Pret A Manger has closed half its vegetarian and vegan-only retailers.