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UK: Receivers seek buyers for UK's FD Brands

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Receivers of the ill-fated FD Brands, the UK distributor of Cockspur rum, which went bust last Tuesday, are now actively seeking buyers for its brands.

Mark Riley, a partner in BDO Stoy Hayward, one of the co-receivers with KPMG, told just-drinks.com he was "selling some brands" in the FD portfolio, which includes Cockspur, FD Schnappes and Harvey Wallbanger. Negotiations had begun with a number of interested parties, but he said it was "too early to say which brands and which companies."

FD Brands went into liquidation last week after a poor sales performance during the Christmas period and escalating losses. "The margins weren't good enough and a lot was riding on the Christmas sales. The market is saturated at the moment and competition is tough. FD Brands made a loss in 2000 and was heading for a loss this year," said Riley.

The company turnover last year was £17m. Its 25 staff have been made redundant, though a skeletal, back office staff has remained to settle outstanding orders and accounts at the company's Surrey offices.

Riley is confident the company can recoup some of its losses through the brand sale. "I'm delighted people are taking an interest in the brands. The sooner the brands are back out in the market, the better," he said.

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