ONE of the UK's largest milk haulage companies has been put into administration - but their parent company believes the action was 'wholly unecessary'. 

Tanker drivers for Lloyd Fraser, which has a depot in Bruton, were told the businesses clsoed "without any warning to the employees", a newsquest reporter was told. 

Farmer’s Weekly is reporting that some of the country’s biggest dairy companies including Muller, Arla and Meadow Foods are making contingency plans for milk collections.

The decision to put the Lloyd Fraser group of companies into administration was made after actions of Close Brothers Limited and Close Invoice Finance Limited. 

Barbican Capital, parent company of Lloyd Fraser, said they are 'appalled' by Close's actions. 

“Our immediate priority is to ensure that our employees and our customers are impacted as little as possible from Close’s actions," a spokesperson said.

"Once we have done so, we will look to Close to seek compensation for the material losses that they have caused to the Lloyd Fraser group for putting it into administration when it was wholly unnecessary.

"We are appalled by the actions of Close Brothers Limited and Close Invoice Finance Limited which, we believe, has led to our group of companies being incorrectly placed into administration and unnecessarily losing related licenses required to meet our customers' needs. 

“The actions of Close Brothers has had a major impact on the supply of milk in the UK, as well as the fashion industry – two sectors which Lloyd Fraser Holdings provides vital logistical support to."

Barbican Capital has said there were flaws in Close's IDEAL client interface portal, so Lloyd Fraser looked to replace the company as their banking partner. 

“This was communicated to Close and an orderly handover was agreed for the end of September," the spokesperson added.

"As part of this transition, any monies owed to Close by any Lloyd Fraser company would be discharged in full on or around September 29 2023.

"However, on September 1 2023, without warning, and in breach of the agreement to migrate our business away from Close in an orderly manner, Close refused to operate our facility as normal. This has subsequently led to the Lloyd Fraser group companies being put into administration quite literally overnight.

"Close's actions and the subsequent administration from those actions have left 700 committed Lloyd Fraser employees uncertain as to whether they will have a job next week."

A Clothes Brothers spokesperson said they 'strongly dispute' the events explained by Barbican Capital. 

“Close Brothers is unable to comment on what is a live situation, other than to state that it strongly disputes Barbican Capital’s characterisation of the events in question," they added. 

The Barbican Capital spokesperson said the company has spoken to a legal team and plans to fight against the administration.