Part sale of freight company saves 25 jobs as firm goes into administration

A deal has been agreed after administrators for the Magnus Group secured a local buyer for its warehousing and forwarding operation, saving 25 jobs.

Ipswich-based logistics firm Hemisphere Freight Services agreed the sale today following Magnus’s decision to file a Notice of Intention to appoint an administrator. The firm went into administration on November 23rd.

As part of the deal, HFS will also take over about 200,000 sq ft of warehousing space at Magnus Group’s Great Blakenham facility. The team will remain at the Great Blakenham site for six months before moving to the nearby Suffolk Port One Logistics Park.

Andrew Kelsall, joint administrator with Lee Green, both of Larking Gowen, said he was pleased that a local buyer had been found, and that Magnus’ warehousing staff were able to continue working with the new owners.

While part of the business has been sold on, the haulage side has been wound down, with 52 drivers losing their jobs on November 17th. A further 23 staff members were dismissed last week. All staff who have been made redundant have received a letter with details about how to access the redundancy service, and a number to call in case of queries.

Mr Kelsall said: “This is a time when voluntary liquidations across the UK are at an all-time high.

“Logistics is a highly competitive sector and, unfortunately, Magnus had got into difficulties, including some debt which it has been unable to refinance. They had little option but to seek administration.”

“We are currently working to achieve the best possible outcome for all stakeholders involved, and we are maintaining a dialogue with staff, customers and suppliers across the board,” he said.

Hemisphere Managing Director Andy Perrin said: “It’s always hard to see a fellow family-run business go into administration, especially after decades of successful trading and becoming so well-respected within the local community. Our sincere condolences go out to everyone affected at what must be an incredibly difficult time.

“Our offer to acquire the warehousing and forwarding elements of the business was, above all else, an attempt to safeguard the employment and ensure the wellbeing of as many of Magnus Group’s team members as possible. The priority for us is to minimise disruption on both sides and ensure that Magnus Group’s current client base is well informed and well taken care of throughout this process.”

Magnus Group was founded in 1973 and became a well-established freight service in East Anglia and beyond. It is also known for its support of local causes including sponsorship of Ipswich Town Football Club and Suffolk Cricket.


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