One of the largest companies in the Northeast went into administration with an immediate loss of 1,000 jobs.
Testerworld Ltd, part of the Converse Pharma Group, is a major pharmaceutical supplier with a turnover of approximately £300 million. The company trades as DE Group and operates from offices in Great Park, Newcastle, and a facility in Prudhoe, Northumberland But it ceased trading, along with a handful of companies including the Doncaster Pharmaceuticals, Crosspharma and Eclipse brands.
The company, which also has a Doncaster base, has supplied more than 4,000 customers — including community pharmacies — across the country.
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Last year, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) suspended Testerworld’s license to operate due to “customer and supplier verification and control protocols” before the penalty was partially lifted the following month. The company suspended operations for about six weeks before resuming work in about 95% of trading prior to the suspension.
Testerworld accounts as of the end of March 2020 say: “While lifting the partial suspension is not a critical enabler to ensure a return to business profitability, it is imperative that the company restores full licensing status. A roadmap for achieving this goal has been submitted to the MHRA and Directors can confirm that Progress is being made in line with agreed goals and timelines included in the submission.”
At the time, directors at Testerworld said they had extended a lending facility with the company’s bank, Royal Bank of Scotland and Secure Trust, and that they expected sufficient resources to continue trading for the foreseeable future. But managers from Kroll were set to work last Thursday, citing an immediate halt to trading.
“Drug distributors and wholesalers form an important link between independent drug manufacturers and pharmacies and their end customers,” said Philip Dakin, Joint Director at Kroll. “It is a complex chain which means we will work closely with the relevant regulators, management team and the group’s secured lenders to mitigate the impact on the supply chain. Pharmaceutical.
“When appointed, our immediate objective will be to conduct an orderly liquidation of trades. The possibility of some
Small commercial sales of parts of the business are not excluded as we aim to maximize the return on creditors.”
The group was formed in 2013 after management purchased its three component companies. It operates from 14 locations across the UK.
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