Prime Champ - Geert Verdelleen

Geert Verdelleen of Prime Champ

Irish group Monaghan Mushrooms has announced it has reached a definite agreement to take over Dutch supplier Prime Champ.

The Prime Champ group, which is one of UK retailer Asda's biggest mushroom suppliers, was declared bankrupt by a Dutch court in Den Bosch on 15 April, having had financial difficulty “for years,” according to a statement released by Monaghan.

Monaghan reached the agreement with the Dutch group’s administrator that will mean most of the 700 employees will keep their jobs.

The reputation of Prime Champ, a supplier to Asda, had become tarnished last year when an investigation by the Dutch public prosecutor about a possible mismanagement was launched.

Monaghan CEO Ronnie Wilson told FPJ at the time: “Our position is that Prime Champ doesn’t have anything to answer and I would like to put that record very straight.”

Monaghan took over control of all operations at Prime Champ on 16 April and under the terms of the agreement reached on 18 April, Monaghan Mushrooms formally took over the entire Prime Champ Group from bankruptcy.

The Dutch entity will continue under the name MonaghanChampignons, and the German entities will continue under the name Monaghan Pilze, both falling under the direct management of Monaghan Mushrooms CEO Ronnie Wilson.

Former Prime Champ director Geert Verdellen will become a consultant at the Monaghan Mushrooms group. 􏰀

The takeover will result in the retention of 678 full- time employees. All employees that were retained received new employment contracts that are fully compliant with existing rules and regulations. Monaghan Mushrooms said in its statement: “Financial details concerning the takeover will not be disclosed.”