British entrepreneur Heather Mills has announced a £1m deal to purchase the assets of plant-based brand VBites, which fell into administration in December.
Mills launched the business back in 2009 but on 11 December it was confirmed that James Clark and Howard Smith from Interpath Advisory were appointed joint administrators to VBites Food Limited. The reasons cited for entering the process included cashflow problems, “softening” of consumer demand, and inability to raise new capital.
As part of the deal, Mills, who was the majority shareholder in VBites, also waived £4.8m of debt owed to her as a secured creditor in order to help secure a “considerably” better return for all the creditors, as first reported by the Grocer. The asset-only deal includes the plant and machinery, stock and IP, and social media accounts.
Posting on her own website, Mills says VBites is turning over a new leaf and that she plans to resurrect the business.
She wrote: “I was devastated when VBites was forced, unnecessarily with three days notice, into administration. It was agreed between both shareholders that we would always give each other three months notice, knowing the figures six months ahead set for the company, so I was doubly shocked that it went straight into administration, even though I gave viable solutions. But I strongly believed that the next-generation technology that VBites had developed and the work it had done still had a huge role to play in assisting the transition of the food market to a healthier and more sustainable place. I was also not happy being told that many of my loyal and hard-working staff were losing their jobs. I was cut out of everything.
“This is why I have chosen to resurrect the company myself, at great personal expense, and take control of the operations personally, moving back to the North-East to ensure that we are still able to make a positive contribution to the future of our global food economy. We have already developed a version 2.0 of plant-based food, soon to launch, that we believe will be a market mover and will help all of those people attempting to make a flexitarian or plant-based/vegan transition achieve their goals more easily, both with variety and deliciousness.”