Wettenhalls sale gives hope to retrenched freight workers

RETRENCHED former employees of Wettenhalls Transport in Warrnambool have been given new hope after the local operation was bought by Westvic Container Export Services.

The deal was announced  by receivers Ferrier Hodgson, which said earlier this week the Wettenhalls Warrnambool branch and the national express division had been closed as a result of the company’s collapse.

“The sale went through overnight,” receiver partner Brendan Richards told The Standard yesterday. 

Expressions of  interest for the remainder of Wettenhalls’ national business closed yesterday and moves are expected next week on finding a suitable buyer.

Wettenhalls Group was placed in receivership on Friday last week. Mr Richards said the Warrnambool business and assets had been bought by Westvic, ensuring continuity of supply for several key Warrnambool firms which were major employers in the region.

“Following the collapse of Wettenhalls last week the Warrnambool office had been earmarked for closure,” he said.

“But by working with customers and stakeholders we were able to organise the orderly transfer of assets and business to the new owner. The sale ensures future of supply and minimises disruption to key industries in Warrnambool.”

Westvic operates a rail freight container depot in west Warrnambool which had been supplied by Wettenhalls as the road freight carrier.

Westvic managing director Warrick Loft was unable to be contacted yesterday afternoon, but earlier this week said he was hoping to later make an announcement that would involve re-employing staff.

The rail freight depot has continued operating with involvement by other trucking companies to keep the throughput of perishable local produce flowing.

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