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Monday, 29 November 2010

Construction Companies have had a difficult November

November has been a very difficult month for construction companies. First of all Rok plc surprisingly went into administration and since then there has been a string of failures.

Last week, the Midlothian-based ERDC Group, went into administration. At its peak the company employed 0ver 200 people. The administrators have made 73 out of the 79 people redundant.

Also last week, two Hull based construction companies went into administration resulting in the loss of 90 jobs. Quibell & Son (Hull) Limited and Humber Joiners Limited were both part of Quibell Construction Group. The Hull companies, provided construction services mainly to the public sector, and according to the administrators have been loss making for a number of years. Margins on work was getting very tight and the slightest delay in payment has been the the last straw.

Finally, Irwins, a Leeds based construction business, went into administration with the loss of 56 jobs, leaving school, university and national trust sites with building work unfinished.

In a further blow to the construction industry, a major Austrian customer of Costain has gone into administration owing it £22m for the work done on the Belvedere energy-from-waste facility in London.
Other construction businesses to enter administration in November have been DB Russell Construction and Lowry Homes.
Apart from some knock-on effects from the failure of Rok plc it appears that many construction businesses are finishing off projects but have not won enough contracts going forward to keep them going.
There is another way for some of these companies. A company voluntary arrangement should be considered instead of administration if the business has a viable future and a proportion of their debts can be paid off over a 3-5 year period. A cashflow problem can be solved!

If you don't want to leave your construction business in the hands of the administrators then call us. A CVA can be a very effective rescue tool. If you have worries or doubts about the process read our mistruths page on CVAs

Friday, 26 November 2010

Morris Builders Merchants Liquidation Notice

KSA Group Insolvency Notice

Morris Builders Merchants Limited - Meeting of creditors

Creditors Voluntary Liquidation Notice

HMRC Time to Pay

Having talked to our contacts in the insolvency world, and worried company directors, it is clear that companies are finding it hard to secure an HMRC Time to Pay (TTP) deal.

To have a good chance you will need to have had a previously excellent tax compliance record and be putting forward a convincing case that you can stick with the arrangement. This would need to be backed up with credible financial forecasts and a business plan.

It should also be noted that many companies' TTP deals are coming to an end in 2011. Nonetheless, it should not be presumed they will get a new one.

If you think that the company is viable and the HMRC reject your application for a TTP then a company voluntary arrangement may be the best option

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Public Sector Jobs Website in administration.

Pearson Advertising & Marketing Ltd, the Stockton-based recruitment and marketing business, has appointed administrators at KPMG after a sudden fall in sales.

The business was heavily exposed to public sector recruitment as it ran the public sector jobs site at

As such, the administrators at KPMG said due to the spending cuts next year the business was not viable going forward and could not be sold as a going concern. All 60 staff have been made redundant, except one who is assisting the administrators.

Turnover in 2009 was £15.4m but fell to £10.3m in the year to the end of March 2010. Pre-tax profits more than halved to £74,000 from £164,000 in the same period.

This latest failure is not a great surprise, given the spending cuts, but as we have said before recruitment is vulnerable at the moment as many companies have relied heavily on public sector contracts.

Its the economy stupid!

Went to an interesting event this morning, courtesy of Gorkana, at Nomura's headquarters called "Its the economy stupid".

Taking questions and generally discussing the UK and world economy were the following;

Hugh Pym,
Chief Economics Correspondent, BBC
Iain Martin,
Deputy Editor, Wall Street Journal Europe
Neil Hume
Editor, FT Alphaville
Sam Fleming,
Economics Editor, The Times
Michael Wilson,
ex Sky News (Event Chair)

Big discussion topic with some big names in the media industry!

It hasn't escaped people's notice that the media have had an important role to play in the modern economy and the constant flow of news and opinion, has affected market sentiment and consumer confidence.

The overriding theme was we are all in this global economic turbulence together but there is no consensus what to do about it!

To expand on that point Hugh Pym pointed out that the Japanese were saying that Quantitive Easing (QE) was not a panacea and that deflation was the biggest risk to the global economy. Whereas other economists thought QE was "lighting an inflation bonfire" He also mentioned that many large corporates were hoarding cash and thus stunting growth. So it isn't just the banks not lending.

The panel also felt that the US was not showing economic leadership as it had in the past so the sovereign debt crisis was, in part, being fuelled by market fear. This fear mainly due to the fact that, as above, there is no consensus.

Neil Hume of the FT felt that unless countries are prepared to live by Germany's rules then there was a danger of collapse of the Euro. However, as the Euro was mainly a political project then if the political will is there then it can survive.

Interestingly, the panel said that the government were very worried, despite the "banker bashing", about the movement of capital and financial services out of the City towards Asia,
All in all, so much to discuss and so little time. I think that is how many of the politicians feel at the moment as well!

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Liquidation reports now online

We are now publishing the liquidation reports pertaining to companies to which we have been appointed liquidators.

A liquidation report contains the following; Notice of our appointment, a report to the creditors outlining the circumstances, a statement of affairs (SOFA), estimated deficiency account, summary of recent financial history, and a list of creditors.

These documents are sent out to all creditors as required by the insolvency rules 1986.

Please find below the latest published reports

JB&V Ltd
Liquidation Report

Adjamiba Clubwear Limited
Liquidation Report

Taylor Woodworking Castleford Limited
Liquidation Report

Del Stone London Limited
Liquidation Report

Search and Secure Limited
Liquidation Report

Zero Group Limited
Liquidation Report

N.M. Digital Services Limited
Liquidation Report

Blogged by Robert Moore

Monday, 22 November 2010

Tonys Bar and Cafe Limited T/A Rosies Bar - Meeting of Creditors

KSA Group Insolvency Notice

Meeting of creditors - Tonys Bar and Cafe Limited T/A Rosies Bar

Creditors Voluntary Liquidation Notice

Facing HMRC Payment Problems?

HMRC is sometimes termed a "sophisticated creditor".  What do I mean by that?  Basically it means that HMRC knows all the tricks and techniques to use in order to get their money.   Of course, this is because they tend to be owed the most amount of money!  What is more, as the amount of tax owed is rarely in dispute, they do not need to first seek a County Court Judgement, followed by a Statutory Demand.  As such, they tend to go straight to issuing a winding up petition provided they are owed more than £750.

Due to this shorter time frame it is essential that if you are having problems paying HMRC then you need to urgently take action.  Perhaps take a look at our top tips for collecting your own debts  or review our top tips on cost cutting measures for business.  If you feel you have done all you can re collecting and saving money and are facing creditor pressure then please give us a call!

Please take a look at our new page on HMRC payment problems.

Friday, 19 November 2010

DB Russell Construction in Administration

DB Russell Construction, the North Somerset-based building firm which developed social housing, affordable housing and general building for local authorities,  has gone into administration. 

This is yet another builder exposed to the social housing and local authority market that has collapsed. This follows Rok and Connaught.  The events in this particular sector of the construction industry is one of the public faces of the spending cuts that are starting to bite.

The previous government was very committed to social housing projects but it now appears, given the information coming out of the other failures, that the margin on such contracts were so thin and in some cases loss making.
DB Russell Construction reportedly owes £900,000 to companies it has sub-contracted work to, £370,000 to suppliers and £620,000 to banks.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Company Voluntary Arrangements (CVA) Seminar announced

KSA Group are going to be holding the first of a number of CVA workshops in London on the 15th December 2010.   Are you interested in attending a 4-5 hour CVA training workshop with tests and prizes?

This will be held in the Liverpool Street area City of London on December 15th 2010.

Starting with pastries and coffees at 9.30am we will host a workshop for up to 15 people only. We will take you through a live case study from the intial enquiry, assessment of the options, why CVA and not pre-pack was used, the restructure deal, forecasting processes, the law surrounding redundancies in CVA, landlord and tenant issues, how we closed several retail stores and restructured a disfunctional board.

The day will be presented by Keith Steven, Wayne Harrison and Andrew Hunter of KSA Group. We have designed three tests for the attendees with prizes for the best scores! Lunch and refreshments are included.

Attendees will take away a CVA training manual with our compliments. The price for the day is £50 plus VAT to include all meals and refreshments and the venue cost.

If you are interested in attending then please get in touch via this email link or give our London office a call on 0207 877 0050.

If you cannot attend, please still get in touch for future seminar dates.  You can keep up to date with further announcements by joining our linkedin group for CVA's at the link below.  We will also be making announcements on our blog here and our twitter account

Look forward to seeing those who can attend.

Sheffield Wednesday given time to pay taxes. Lucky them!

Sheffield Wednesday have been given 28 days to pay their tax bill by the High Court. The Judge said that the company had been trading whilst insolvent but had allowed the stay of execution due to exceptional circumstances.  What circumstances?  Other companies, if they are trading whilst insolvent and a winding up petition is being heard, are not usually so lucky.  I suspect that the learned judge believed, as many others do, that a rich investor will step in at the last minute! However, this does not mean that other companies should rely on such unlikely outcomes.We often find that companies delay taking action because they believe that a big contract is on the way. However, even if that hope is there this should not prevent the directors taking advice.

The co-operative bank, to whom the club owes £23.5m, has been very patient throughout and is the main reason the club has survived for so long.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Christmas. Are you prepared?

Unfortunately, Christmas can be a difficult time for struggling businesses. Fixed costs are still there and wages have to be paid at the end of December. The rent, that if payable quarterly in advance, is due on Christmas Day. If you haven't negotiated with your landlord for monthly payments of rent then perhaps think about it now.

Some customers who are a bit slow at paying might think "I might wait until after Christmas to pay that invoice!" Factories are not producing for a couple of weeks so there may be cashflow pressures.

The recent poor weather has not helped businesses, especially if you have a debtor book to collect. One client we have spoken to today has had to drive around and collect cheques in person from customers, as five of his staff have been unable to get to work!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Cashbox in pre pack administration

Cashbox plc, the aim listed firm that runs ATMs, has gone into administration. In a statement the firm said, "InfoCash had reached an arrangement with the administrator, Deloitte, to purchase the assets of business." As such, the business is to carry on with all existing contracts and operations so as to safeguard the company's customers.

This process, whereby a firm goes into administration and is sold at the same time, is often called a pre pack administration. If you are considering a pre pack administration of your business please give us a call.
on 0207 877 0050

Monday, 15 November 2010

Why do CVA's get a bad press?

I recently wrote an article on articlesbase as to why CVAs often get a bad press. So for the full article please have a read by clicking on the link.

It is very simple, when a CVA succeeds very few people hear about it (it doesn't have to be publicized unlike administration or liquidation ). The company carries on trading and the debts are paid off over time. If it fails and then the company is put into administration or even liquidated then everyone is up in arms saying that CVA's dont work. This is nonsense!

They do work and will, in most cases, pay more back to the creditors than other insolvency procedures. Mind you, for a CVA to work then the business must be viable and have a future so that creditors can be paid off over time. In most cases a CVA fails for the following reasons;

  • The company has agreed to pay more to creditors than it can afford.
  • Creditors have been poorly managed by the advisors and so have not been as supportive of the process as they should. A consensus with creditors should be the aim of the turnaround or insolvency advisors.
  • The company is over optimistic on projected sales.
  • The CVA advisors and management have not gone far enough to cut costs quickly
  • The management have grown tired of being in business and so fall on their sword!
  • Their bank has not been fully involved and although they are not bound by the CVA their advice and input is essential.
  • A CVA was not the best tool for their situation. Perhaps an administration or in some cases a company liquidation would have been more appropriate.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Pontins in administration

Pontins, the budget UK holiday park operator, went into administration last night. The firm's banker, Santander, is understood to be owed £40m. So it looks as if the bank has appointed the administrators KPMG. The administrators have a helpline operating from Monday: 0844 576 8481. The camps are expected to continue to trade while a buyer is found.

If you are a supplier to the firm then please contact us on 0800 9700539 if it means that your company may encounter difficulties as a result of the surprise news on Pontins. There are solutions!

If you are an employee of the business then please take a look at our help for employee pages.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Administration for Works Media Group plc

Works Media Group plc has gone into administration following the Board's unsuccessful efforts to raise further funding for the Group. Milcoz Films Limited, as the holder of a Qualifying Floating Charge over the Group's assets has appointed administrators.

It was stressed that the subsidiaries, The Works International Limited, The Works UK Distribution Limited and the Film Consortium Limited, are not in administration and continue to trade but are in the process of "being acquired by the Company's major secured creditor."

So how does this happen? The holders of a qualifying floating charge can appoint administrators please read our page on fixed and floating charges

MPK Associates Limited Liquidation Notice - Meeting of Creditors

KSA Group Insolvency Notice

Meeting of creditors - MPK Associates Limited

Overfinch in administration

Overfinch, the Range Rover tuner and body shop, has gone into administration. In an announcement the firm blamed "significant one off non-trading costs". The firm is being marketed for sale by the administrators and expressions of interest are said to have been put forward. Overfinch was beloved by celebrities, especially footballers, who perhaps thought an iconic luxury 4x4 needed a facelift....

It is noted that a winding up petition was served against the company on the 5th November. If the directors had acted earlier then a CVA may have been possible. If the firm had some large "one-off" costs, but it was a niche operator in a growing market then provided the one off costs didn't happen again then surely it had a viable future with the debt paid off over say a 5 year period. Even if a winding up petition is served it is possible to stop it being advertised or even the hearing adjourned to give the company time to prepare a CVA.

All busineses make mistakes and a CVA can help them continue to trade, by stopping creditors legal actions, and so avoid paying the ultimate price by closing down and assets being sold at knock down prices.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Blacks Leisure praises CVA process that saved the business

The chief executive of Blacks Leisure plc, Neil Gillis, has praised the use of a company voluntary arrangement or CVA that helped the business survive last year.  The business is now trading better and has attracted interest from buyers. 

Hopefully, now business people will realise that a CVA is an excellent tool to rescue companies.  Of course it doesn't work everytime but as long as it is carefully put together and it doesn't over promise and under deliver then in our view it is the best mechanism.  For more details of the Blacks Leisure CVA then please refer to our updated page at

Small business need help to LEAD THE WAY

Good article by Lord Young in the Telegraph online today. In it he sets out his view that SME's can lead job creation and recovery. I agree BUT

I think we need to provide as many incentives to the new business as possible, indeed I blogged my business manifesto on 12th April ( ) which set out my ideas for SME's and new companies.

Interesting to see that some of these are being introduced by the new government.

Pre-election blog from April 2010:

My mini tax manifesto is not directly aimed at them but I am comfortable that it would generate increased revenues for the micro businesses out there AND increased tax take for the Exchequer. The aim would be to drive business out of the recession, get more new companies formed (and protect the recession survivors) and get as many people off benefits and into work as possible.

All newly formed companies to be exempt from corporation tax for the first 2 years after formation. For fast growing successful new starts, if the company makes £100,000 net profit in the 2 year period, then this exemption is lifted and "my" corporation tax rate below applies.

Corporation tax (CT) rates for ALL companies would be 10% for all profits up to £100,000 pa; 20% CT for all profits from £100,001 to £300,000 pa; 25% CT for all profits above £300,001 pa.

All new companies with up to 10 employees would be exempt from Employers National Insurance Surcharge on the new PAYE scheme for one year. In year two it would be 5% and in year three the normal rate (currently 12.8% Employers’ secondary Class 1 rate above secondary threshold). The aim would be to encourage new companies to take on people faster, thus reducing unemployment.

When selling shares in a newly formed company I would re-introduce the taper relief system for capital gains tax as follows: Any gain made after three years - 10% CGT on all gains above CGT allowance (currently £10,100 pa). After two years 20% CGT, after 1 year 40% CGT would apply, the aim is to attract investment into new companies and keep that locked in. If an investor sold her stake for gain in year one of that company's life she would be hit hard for CGT. Statistically 65% of all new companies fail within 3 years, the incentive above would hopefully see more new starts survive that terrible statistic.

NNDR - National Non Domestic Rates or business Rates. All new companies to be exempt from NNDR in year one. Then normal NNDR applies. This would encourage companies to take on properties that may be empty and start building their businesses. With the soft market for rents many landlords would love to see properties occupied AND this would mean the landlord does not have to pay empty property NNDR (If the property remains empty and unoccupied after the three month period then Empty Property Rates (EPR) becomes due and payable at the rate of 50 per cent of the full occupied charge. There are some exemptions to empty property rates such as properties which are classed as industrial, or those with a Rateable Value of £2,200 or less).

So my "radical" tax plans would hopefully encourage new companies (specifically not sole traders) to form, take on people, properties and build businesses. In time many would of course fail, many will go on to be larger employers paying full taxes, corporation taxes, rent and NNDR. they would create growth and wealth. They would hopefully act as a magnet for business angel investors, creative venture funders and of course banks should see the ability to lend to "protected" new companies.

Some of these proposals could apply to the surviving SME's such as CGT taper relief and the CT rates. But if they have survived they are generally stronger than new starts AND with lots of new companies forming they will have new customers to sell to as well as new competitors.

Any views on this are welcomed:

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

A CVA can give a company a fighting chance - A testimonial!

An email sent to us today.

From: *****************

Sent: 10 November 2010 12:49
To: Keith Steven
Cc: Marie Moody

Subject: ***************

Dear Keith and the Team at KSA

I would like to personally thank you all for your help in securing the CVA for us. It has been a difficult few months but with the professional service that you and your company have provided we have been able to give ****** a fighting chance in succeeding over the next few years. I would like to thank in particular Marie for the fantastic job she has done in dealing with our creditors and believe she is a great asset to your company, her professionalism was at the highest level and even though was bombarded with many problems at the same time reacted firmly and positively throughout this process.

It was a pleaure seeing yourself and Wayne at Tower 42 today and wish you a successful year end and year to come (hopefully no more business from me )

Kind Regards,

Name and address supplied

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

CVAs fall in the third quarter

Overall the number of company rescues through the company voluntary arrangement (CVA) mechanism fell during the third quarter of this year versus 2009. Indeed Q3 saw CVA’s in a massive 32% fall on Q2 of 2010. After a record high level of rescues using CVA’s in the first half of this year, the number of CVA rescues has fallen again, so what might be behind these changes?

Just as one swallow doesn’t make a summer one quarter’s insolvency statistics are not to be taken too seriously either, but the trend across all types of insolvency was a year on year AND a quarter on quarter fall in Q3. Has the worst of the recession gone? Will the number of corporate insolvencies continue to fall? Time will tell.

Back to those CVA’s numbers, which are something we study carefully at KSA. Breaking down the numbers - the manufacturing sector saw only 22 CVA’s in the period versus 32 in Q2. This is a fall of 31%, we suspect that manufacturing has bounced back in the last 9 months after manufacturers and OEMS’ began restocking and the mini boom for the automotive sector. Perhaps surprisingly even the construction sector, which has seen two high profile administrations in Connaught plc and Rok plc, saw a fall of 38% quarter on quarter.

Transport saw the only real rise in CVA use, interestingly currently KSA is working on three road haulage CVA’s. They blame the tight rates paid by retailers and lack of available finance to adequately fund their businesses.

A major impact on the use of CVA’s has been the threat of winding up petitions from HMRC. We have examined the number of winding up petitions issued in quarter 2 and 3 and did not detect much variance in these data. Our current view is that most directors will not consider the use of a rescue tool like a CVA, until the company is standing on the brink, typically a winding up threat by HMRC is the prod that is needed to make that decision.

Perhaps the number of threats to petition has fallen in prior quarter, leading to more companies relying upon deferral of tax and not the radical restructure that a CVA can lead to.

As champions of the CVA tool and the great changes that it can bring about in a failing business, we are disappointed that the use of CVAs has fallen back, but believe that a firmer approach by HMRC towards failed time to pay deals in 2011, will lead to more companies considering this option.

Without sounding like the proverbial doomsayer we at KSA think there is probably a false dawn here, very low interest rates, leniency on tax collection and support though HMRC’s time to pay scheme are not sustainable as the economy recovers. With government spending cuts and higher unemployment we would expect to see growth in the use of CVA’s and sadly liquidations in the transport, restaurants/hotels, retail and property sectors through 2011.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Rok plc in administration this morning

Rok plc has fallen into administration, the company announced this morning. This is another blow for the embattled construction sector as Rok plc follows its rival Connaught plc which collapsed in September.
Rok plc had been growing fast and had bought social housing specialist Richardson Projects, in 2008, which employed 350 people working from offices in Rochdale and Leeds. The company was originally based in the West Country but has expanded through acquisition and in its last accounts report 2009 announced £718m of revenues with profits of £22.6m. It was expected to benefit further from contracts taken over from Connaught plc so this collapse has shocked investors.

The construction sector activity is forecast to fall by 5% next year and given that it represents 10% of GDP this will have an impact on the wider economy.

If you are an employee or creditor of the company and are worried then look at our special page for employees and creditors of the company here. You will find guides for employee rights, how to make claims for redundancy and support for creditors..

If you are a supplier to the firm then please contact us on 0800 9700539 if it means that your company may encounter difficulties as a result of the shock news on ROK plc.. There are solutions!

Friday, 5 November 2010

Insolvency figures lower in Q3

The latest insolvency statistics from the government shows a fall in the number of corporate insolvencies.

Company liquidations came to 3,974, a 13.9% fall on the same time last year, and 2.2% down on Q2, Administrations came in at 633, a 35% drop on the same period in 2010.

This is encouraging news for the UK's struggling business community. However, as we reported earlier there has been a rise in the number of winding up petitions issued against companies in the last month.

The true impact of the VAT rise and the spending cuts will be felt throughout 2011, so we are not out of the woods yet. HMRC have made comments recently hinting that they will get tougher with businesses with tax arrears and banks are starting to take a hard line with companies that owe them money. Targetfollow, Leisure and Gaming plc, Maypole group plc the most recent examples.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Hotels and pubs in difficulties in Scotland

The estate agent Christie and Co have announced that they have seen a rise of 126% in the sales of hotels and pubs from distressed asset sales in Scotland. This percentage applies to the last six months to September.

The number of pubs for sale showed a 189 per cent increase in business sales during the six month period compared to the previous year, with the care sector seeing a 125 per cent rise.

All in all, it looks as if the leisure sector is suffering. This is not surprising given the high proportion of public sector workers in Scotland who may be fearful of their employment prospects.

The sale of leisure assets can be part of any strategic review undertaken by business turnaround advisors and insolvency practitioners in order to acheive a better result for creditors and allow the business to continue to survive.

Nuyuu Fitness Limited Liquidation Report Available

For the benefit all creditors of Nuyuu Fitness Limited, operators of Gyms in Livingston, East Grinstead, Stevenage, Slough and Newbury, we have uploaded the Liquidation Report.

Please click on the link

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

All KSA lines working normally

For the second time in 3 weeks we lost all telephone lines, Internet and emails for 2 hours today. BT seem to have a major problem in the north.

Should we all expect to see more such outages as demand rises fast for bandwith?

Anyway sorry for any inconvenience.

One chap called our London office and my mobile demanding to know when the BT problem would be fixed so he could vote for one of our CVA's by proxy! Thank you sir, but as I said we were in the hands of the engineers.

KSA Group and CompanyRescue contact details

Dear All,

There appears to have been a problem with BT in our area so our phone lines are down.

If you want to talk to us please call us on our mobiles

Keith Steven  07974086779
Philippa Allan 07833 240746

Sheffield Wednesday - Kevin Mundie withdraws his interest

Sheffield Wednesday have suffered a setback in their battle against a High Court winding-up petition after a consortium led by Kevin Mundie, a senior executive at Certified Oilfield Rentals withdrew his interest in buying the club.

Sheffield Wednesday are due in court on November 17 to face possible administration following a winding up petition by the HMRC for their tax debts. The club is in debt to the tune of £30m.

The Co-operative Bank had provided £800,000 to stave off a previous winding-up petition against Wednesday in September.

London tube strike again!

Is the Tube strike putting extra strain on your London business?
Want to talk to someone in London if this strike is the last straw? Then please take a look at our site for struggling London businesses. We have offices in Tower 42, Old Broad Street, London, EC2N 1HN. Why not come in and see us?

Even if your business is not struggling, but you have had enough then perhaps a members voluntary liquidation MVL is the answer. If the company has cash or properties that can be turned into cash then MVL can be used to distribute the liquid assets to shareholders or distributed "in specie" (NB subject to personal taxation depending upon an individuals circumstances). The company can then be dissolved and directors' obligations removed.

Call us now for MVL - starting at a low £3,500!! 0800 9700539

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Winding up petitions against construction companies on the decrease

The construction industry has suffered weak growth in October, adding to fears that the recent boom in construction may peter out. The construction purchasing managers index slipped from 53.8 in September to 51.6 last month. However, there has been a reduction in winding up petitions being advertised against construction companies. 72 winding up petitions were advertised in October, down from 86 in September. There is some variation in these figures month to month but overall there was an increase across all industries in the number of petitions advertised of 10.5%. It may be that a number of companies in the industry is starting to fall.
So what is a winding up petition and why is the advertisement of them important?
An application is made to the high court (PETITION) to ask the court to wind the company up on the basis that it is unable to pay its debts.

The main issue is that once a winding up petition has been advertised the business's bank account is usually frozen by the bank, whether it is in overdraft or not.

So take threats of winding up petitions very seriously! It does cost a creditor some £1800 to serve a petition (including court costs) but it can have devastating effect on the company.

If anyone has threatened a winding up petition then you must ACT. We may be able to stop the petition being advertised if one has already been issued.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Adam Consulting Limited Liquidation Notice - Meeting of creditors

KSA Group Insolvency Notices

Adam Consulting Limited - Meeting of creditors

Winding up petitions against London companies on the increase

The number of Winding up petitions issued by creditors against Central London companies in October was 109 compared with 78 in September. This represents an increase of 39%. In the rest of the country the rise has only been 10.5%

This is a sign that creditors are becoming more impatient with companies that owe them money, especially so in London. Now that the economy is improving perhaps we are now seeing the first signs of the cashflow problems that companies encounter as they start to pull out of recession. We are also seeing greater use of the winding up petition by HMRC as it loses patience with companies that have built up tax arrears.

So what is a winding up petition?

A winding up petition, once issued, is the the most powerful tool that creditors of a business can use to try and reclaim a debt.

Effectively a petition is served on the company by a solicitor and a court hearing is set. Once the court hearing is concluded and the company does not pay the debt, this will generally lead to the Official Receiver (OR) or a court appointed liquidator taking over to wind the company up. If the company has assets then an insolvency practitioner may be appointed by the court.

A winding up petition (WUP) costs say upto £800 to issue PLUS £1,190 court deposit and the filing fee. So it is a serious step to take.

What is a Petition Advertisement?

The creditor must allow 7 clear days after the serving of the petition on your registered office, before the petition can be advertised in the London or Edinburgh Gazette.

If the petition is advertised in the London Gazette all the credit agencies, receive notification of these petitions. The immediate consequence of that sounds bad but the main problem is that your Bank will be notified of the petition and they will in almost every case, freeze the company’s business bank account! How can the banks do this?

Well the technical answer is under section 127(1) of the Insolvency Act 1986, if a company is wound up, any sale of the company's property, any transfer of shares made after the commencement of the winding-up is void, unless otherwise ordered by the court.

This means that it is very difficult for a company to continue to trade after a winding up petition is advertised. So banks assume that they have to freeze the accounts to stop assets being dispositioned. It is a safe step in their eyes. This will happen even if your account is in credit

What can a business do if faced with a winding up petition.

It is possible to stop the advert if the company acts quickly. Talk to the creditor and seek an adjournment of the hearing. In many cases it is HMRC who issue winding up petitions so talk to them and say you are working on a rescue plan, Also double check all the paperwork. The petition has to be served at the registered address. Another possibility is that a WUP has been issued but doing so has been an “abuse of process “ by one creditor that could damage the interests of the other creditors. This might be where a creditor happens to be a competitor, or where the debt is in fact disputed.

Once a petition is advertised you can no longer go down the path of a creditors voluntary liquidation . It is unlikely that there would be sufficient time to propose a Company voluntary arrangement CVA. A CVA gives you the ability to stop creditor pressure and come to an agreement with your creditors to pay off what is owed over a period of 3-5 years, much like an IVA for companies both these arrangements have to be overseen by an insolvency practitioner. Avoluntary liquidation (CVL ) means you can close the company without having a court appointed Official Receiver looking into your behaviour as a director.

In almost all circumstances that we get involved with in the turnaround and insolvency world, when a creditor issues a winding up petition, it is simply the fault of the company’s directors and management – they fail to act and keep thinking that muddling on will save the day.

So if you are threatened with a winding up petition ACT. Visit our London office for a no obligation meeting.
Or visit our London based website.
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