North East Wales

Hundreds of jobs threatened at Deeside frozen food firm

Paramount Foods Ltd
Operations have been suspended at Paramount Foods in Flintshire

About 450 jobs are at risk as one of the biggest manufacturers of pizzas in the UK goes into administration.

Administrators for Paramount Foods in Flintshire have suspended operations while urgent talks are held with key customers, including supermarkets.

The company employs 312 people on Deeside and another 138 in Salford, Greater Manchester.

Talks are also being held with parties who may be interested in acquiring some or all of the business.

David Whitehouse and Sarah Bell, of the Manchester office of firm Duff and Phelps have been appointed joint administrators.

They have suspended operations at both sites and begun "urgent discussions" with "key customers and parties who may be interested in acquiring some or all of the business".

The bases of the firm's pizza products are baked at the Salford site and finished at the Deeside plant.

In a statement, Mr Whitehouse said: "Whilst the company has incurred trading losses historically, the recent loss of a major customer has left the company without any prospect of returning to profitability in line with a turnaround plan embarked upon in July this year."

Paramount had moved to Deeside in 1998, with plans to become one of the largest pizza making centres of Europe, after taking over a mothballed Heinz sauce manufacturing plant.