Pasty chain buyout saves 250 jobs


West Cornwall Pasty shop

More than 250 jobs at the West Cornwall Pasty Company have been saved after the food chain was bought by investors including former footballer Danny Mills.

The purchase from administrators at PwC involves 35 stores, although another 30 outlets are not part of the deal and will close with the loss of 92 jobs.

The acquisition is the first to be completed by investment vehicle Enact, which is a small business fund backed by 35 investors including former Leeds United full-back Mills and Tim Whitworth, founder of the Republic fashion chain.

West Cornwall Pasty, which has its head office in Buckinghamshire, previously operated 20 railway station-based outlets as well as 45 in other locations.

The business was founded by Ken Cocking and his sons, Gavin and Arron, in 1998 before Gresham Private Equity backed a management buyout of the company in 2007.

Enact's investment director, Chris Cormack, will join the company's board and support its existing management team.

He said: "The business has struggled to cope with the effects of the pasty tax and a number of under-performing outlets.

"Fundamentally, West Cornwall Pasty Company is a market-leading brand, loved by millions of customers, and we are delighted this transaction takes the brand and business forward whilst preserving more than 200 jobs."

Enact was set up by Leeds-based Endless, a private equity turnaround firm.