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Monday, 28 February 2011

EBI Apparel in administration

EBI Apparel, the leeds based manufacturer of lingerie and underwear under licence for clients which includes Monsoon, the high street retailer, has gone into administration.

The administrators at Leonard Curtis are trading the company while looking for a buyer.

EBI Apparel also produced a private label service and owns the lingerie brand Ballet.  It works with various licences through its brand and licensing division.

The business employs more than 65 staff and has partner factories worldwide including an operation in Hong Kong.

Trading a business while looking for a buyer is known as a trading administration.  The administrators will be looking to sell the business quickly so as to get the best outcome for creditors.  A pre-pack administration can only really be achieved if a buyer is already willing and able to take on the business prior to the appointment of administrators.  In a pre-pack the company is put into administration at the same time as the "business" is sold to a new company.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Panther Telemarketing Limited Liquidation Notice

KSA Group Insolvency Notices

Panther Telemarketing Limited - Meeting of creditors will be held at the offices of KSA Group Ltd, Level 7, 25 Old Broad Street, London, EC2N 1HN on 7 March 2011 at 10.45 am

See full notice below

Friday, 25 February 2011

Are your customers in trouble?

Often businesses will look closely at their own financial heallth, which of course is a good thing, but some are oblivious to the financial health of their customers.  If your biggest customer is in difficulty they aren't going to tell you, so you need to be vigilant.

What to look out for

  • The most obvious one is late payements. Paying late is for some companies normal practice and is not always an indicator of financial problems just an attitude to cashflow.  Any sudden change in policy or asking for extended credit should set off alarm bells.  
  • Make sure new customers are not only coming to you because they have not being paying their suppliers elsewhere. If they are good customers they will understand that you might have stringent credit terms for new customers.
  • Remember that formal credit checks are based on information that is historic.  By the time CCJ's have been lodged it is often too late.
  • Keep your ears open.  Industry intelligence is important so it pays to know who is struggling and who might in the future.
  • Sudden loss of communication is a tell tale sign.  It is human nature to start refusing communication if they feel they can no longer find a solution.
  • Make sure all your invoices are not disputed as it can be an easy delaying tactic by the customer.

Finally be prepared!  Have a plan B.  If you think that a major customer might fail to pay you line up some professional advice.  We can talk to you for an hour for no charge to help you go through your options. 0800 9700539

Have a look at our cost cutting page should you have a strain on your cashflow.

Fuel price rise will cause difficulties for smaller hauliers and couriers.

Inflation was in the headlines even before the recent spike in oil prices due to unrest in the Middle East.  Oil now (fri morning) stands at $111 dollars a barrel.  The effects on our economy of this rise in prices is complex.  In some ways we benefit in that we produce oil from the North Sea and large British oil companies make bigger profits, and finally the tax on fuel helps the country's coffers.  However, if it rises too much and for too long then the cost to the consumer and businesses starts to impact on discretionary spending, will feed inflation and will damage the recovery.

Haulage companies and couriers will start to feel the effects immediately as every job costs more to carry out.  Only larger companies such as airlines can hedge against sudden price rises by buying fuel in advance.

If the rise in costs of fuel is the last straw then please get in touch.  There are ways that we can help, especially if you have a debt that you could pay off over a period of 1 to 5 years.  A time to pay scheme to pay off your tax over 12-18 months could be put together.  If the debt is larger and needs to be paid off over 3-5 years then perhaps a company voluntary arrangement or CVA could be the answer.  Call us on 0800 9700539 or call Keith direct on 07974 086779

We have rescued a number of haulage companies.  Some case studies below;

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Capital Shopping Centres will not support JJB's CVA

Capital Shopping Centres has said that it will not support JJB sport's proposed second CVA.  How they will eventually vote will be decided at the creditors meeting.  The CVA will need 75% by value of the creditors for it to be approved.  In general landlord do not like CVA's as it can terminate lease agreements but if it is well put together and seen as fair then there should be less problems.  However, as this is the second time in two years they are going into a CVA the landlords are not sympathetic.

Capital Shopping Centres has only 4 units occupied by JJB Sports, so it may not be a deal breaker. 

However, according to reports, JJB has to present its business plan to its banks to secure its future tomorrow. It may be that the banks have the final say on the matter. As a secured creditor they have the power to appoint their own administrator if they want.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Shops may struggle to pay rent as cuts bite according to Hammerson, the owner of Brent Cross Shopping Centre

Hammerson, the owner of Brent Cross and the Bullring shopping centres, has warned that retailers will struggle to pay rents in the face of the economic headwinds in 2011.  However, they felt that their tenants were sufficiently strong and diverse so as not to adversly effect their portfolio.  Well they would say that wouldn't they!

Retailers in areas where there are thin pickings already will find it difficult.  This will be particularly true of parts of the country that are expected to suffer due to the high level of public sector job cuts.  Research by Experian showing a declining footfall in the North lend credence to this argument.  Manchester is expecting high levels of public sector lay offs and in Blackpool over half of the office workers are employed by government.

If you are a struggling retailer then please get in touch as we can help.  Have a look at our pages for struggling retailers and see what solutions are available.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Plymouth Argyle in administration almost...

The Directors of Plymouth Argyle Football Club have today issued a 'Notice of Intention' to appoint an administrator.  

This action places a "quasi moratorium" over the company meaning that creditors can no longer take any action against the company prior to a formal insolvency event.  However, it does also mean that the club has approx 10 days in which to come up with enough money to save itself.    In most businesses  issuing a "notice of intention" is just going "through the motions" ie informing the bank and giving them time to appoint their own administator if they want to, prior to bowing to the inevitable.  However, football is a funny old game and they do not seem to operate like normal businesses so a last minute rescue is still a possibility.

Friday, 18 February 2011

GR Joinery North East Limited Liquidation Notice

KSA Insolvency Notice

GR Joinery North East Limited - Meeting of creditors - Travelodge, Silverlink, Retail Park, Silverlink, Coast Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE28 9ND on 18 February 2011 at 11.15 am

Full notice

Classic Restorations Cornwall Limited Liquidation Notice

KSA Insolvency Notices

Classic Restorations Cornwall Limited - Meeting of Creditors - The Great Western Hotel, St David’s Approach, St David’s, Exeter, EX4 4NU on 24 February 2011 at 12.30 pm

Full notice

Emergency Cooling Limited Liquidation Notice

KSA Group Insolvency Notices

Emergency Cooling Limited - Meeting of creditors - KSA Group Ltd, Level 7, Tower 42, 25 Old Broad Street, London, EC2N 1HN on 2 March 2011 at 12.45 pm

Full notice

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Winding up petition case studies

At KSA Group we have been able to help companies that have had winding up petitions served on them.  This is usually the last resort option of a creditor looking to recover a debt.  It is best to ACT BEFORE it gets to this stage but in the event of your business receiving one we can help - IF you contact us immediately. 

Please look at our case studies page which shows that we can stop or challenge petitions to wind up your company.  However, mainly we persuade creditors to accept our rescue plan using a CVA or by obtaining Validation Orders. Finally Administration can also be a powerful tool.

Winding up petition case studies

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Farepak directors face disqualification

Nine former directors of Farepak, the failed Christmas hamper business, are facing disqualification in the High Court in an action brought by the Insolvency Service.

Farepak issued a series of profit warnings in 2006 before calling in BDO as administrators in October of that year. More than 113,000 Farepak customers lost an estimated £40m.  Farepak was not regulated by the FSA so no one was entitled to compensation under any government scheme.

The Insolvency Service said: “The application was made in the public interest on the grounds that the conduct of each director in relation to the relevant company or companies makes him or her unfit to be concerned in the management of a company.”

So what do you have to do to get disqualified?  Well, losing £40m of people's Christmas savings is going to make you very unpopular, but were they negligent?

To be disqualified the government agency will first have to prove wrongful trading or "unfit behavior".  Having a business that becomes insolvent DOES NOT automatically mean that you will be disqualified.  This is despite what many people may think.

These are the key points that the BIS seeks to ban directors on:
  • Failure to submit annual accounts to Companies House on time
  • Failure to submit annual returns to Companies House on time
  • Excessive salaries or drawings when the company was plainly insolvent
  • Trading on when he or she knew the company was insolvent (trading whilst knowingly insolvent)
  • Continuing to take credit when there was "no reasonable prospect" of creditors being paid.
  • Misrepresentation of the facts about the company
  • Failure to respond or comply with a liquidator's requests
So if you are taking payments "knowing" you can't honour them and misrepresenting facts then you are in difficult territory.

Blogged by Robert Moore

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Auto Windscreens in administration

Auto Windscreens has gone into administration after it lost a major contract and a creditor served it a winding up petition.

Auto windscreens operates a network of 68 fitting centres across Britain, 550 mobile units, a distribution centre in Aston, Birmingham, and a central call centre. The firm employs over a 1000 staff. The business had a turnover of £63m

Matt Cowlishaw, of Deloitte, said: ‘We are now in urgent discussions with the key stakeholders and interested parties in an attempt to save the business.’

Simply the business ran out of cash. Lower revenues in the last quarter, a delayed IT system had caused problems but it was the winding up petition that forced it into administration.

We have blogged many times before that management must try, as a priority, to dissuade a creditor from serving a winding up petition. A winding up petition limits the options available to the company and if it is advertised the bank accounts of the business will be frozen.

If you are an employee of the company then look at our help for employees page outlining your rights and options.

If you have similar problems or are a supplier to Auto Windscreens please get in touch to see if you can avoid a similar fate..

Monday, 14 February 2011

Saturday, 12 February 2011

JJB Sports seeking CVA

It has been reported by The Telegraph that JJB Sports is proposing a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), which would mean that it will close 45 loss making stores to try and save the company.

JJB Sports last entered a CVA in April 2009, which allowed it to continue trading after walking away from leases on 140 stores.

CVA's have angered landlords as they dislike the fact that it means that the retailer can walk away from leases which underpin the value of their properties. However, the landlords would still receive a percentage in the pound of any rent that was outstanding and of course they can always relet the property! However in some cases the CVA mechanism has been used not primarily for saving the company but for terminating lease agreements on unprofitable stores and the landlords have been rightly upset. 

In order for the CVA to be approved 75% (by value) of the creditors must agree to the proposal so the support of their landlords is seen as crucial. However in last ditch efforts by the company it has reportedly said that if a CVA is not approved then the business will have to go into adminstration. If that were to happen then the return to unsecured creditors would be no doubt less than if it went into a CVA.

This latest move follows months of falling sales and a recent bid to raise £31.5m from its two largest shareholders. It has also been targeted by JD Sports which is looking to aquire the company.

If you are affected by the proposals as an employee then please look at our help for employees page.

If you are a retailer and would like to know how a CVA could save your business then take a look at our pages for retailers.

Friday, 11 February 2011

To save your business from going under

If you want to save your business from going under then you could use a company voluntary arrangement or CVA to do so. This gives the business a fighting chance. For more details have a look at our new page.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Company Voluntary Arrangements Workshop - Wednesday 16th March 2011

Sorry, this has taken so long to reorganize following the snow trouble in December! Would you be interested in attending a 5 hour CVA workshop with tests and prizes?! This will be held in Liverpool Street area City of London on Wednesday March 16th 2011.

Starting with sandwiches and coffees at 9.30am we will host a workshop for up to 20 people only. We will take you through a live case study from the initial 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.

With only 20 places available we would ask for replies by 22nd February 2011 at the latest please. Please RSVP to Robert Moore on 07584 583884 or email

Thank you!

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Dundee CVA approved, good news? Yes, but some idiots don't get insolvency

I wonder sometimes why we bother. Robert Moore today published a good blog on the success of the CVA of Dundee FC. Result.

KSA LOVES CVA success! We do more CVA's than any other firm in Scotland (or England and Wales).

We blog whenever we can on big public profile cases, to try and get the message across that CVA's are a great tool to save businesses. Our blog is called CompanyRescue for goodness sake!

So it was more a news item than a comment.

We have (as does every blogger) a comment process, YOU can comment on this and every other blog we publish, often they aren't worth blogging or commenting on of course!

Often we don't publish the comments we get, for risk of offending our small number of followers. But today I am going to change that policy.

I want to blog the comment that follows below, this is offensive and illustrates the fact that some people don't understand the turnaround and insolvency world, they blame the professional people who have, like PKF LLP saved Dundee, as the CAUSE of the problems  that businesses face.

Rather like the idiot Scottish Business Minister who thinks insolvency people are paid too much for doing their job (rich comments can be found by Googling) this Dundee supporting commentator (who because he is so clever, stayed "anonymous") said this on our blog tonight.......


So there you go, I am sure most of the real Dundee supporters are thrilled (like us) that the CVA was approved. But this guy seems to have a view that insolvency and turnaround people are all Tory .....?

I find the attitude to business and the word profit, in much of the public sector and dimwitted people like the guy who wrote this (in my native land) curious. This anonymous commentator sums it up.

Dundee FC saved by a CVA

Dundee FC have had their proposals for a company voluntary arrangement accepted by club's creditors today. 81 percent of creditors (by value) have accepted six pence in the pound of money owed despite HM Revenue and Customs being owed at least £420,000 in outstanding tax bills.

Administration followed by a CVA goes some way to exit the whole insolvency process.
Basically, the administrators hand back control of the company to the directors. This can be an expensive process and there is no reason why a CVA could not be done from the outset. As we have said before CVA's are scandalously under used in Scotland especially considering they allow the company to continue to trade and save jobs.

The club admitted that if the CVA had not been approved then the club would have been put into liquidation.

The difficulties for the club are not over as they have to stick to the discipline and payments ageed in the CVA to ensure that it does not fail. As such, lets hope that the CVA is attainable. The dividend at 6p in the pound is low but this follows the administration. CVA's often obtain between 40p and 60p in the pound.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Bulmers Transport closes ahead of likely administration

Bulmers Transport, based in Middlesborough and Suffolk, has closed down and 200 staff have been made redundant. The HMRC had issued a winding up petition for a £300,000 debt.

Mr Bulmer said: “Bulmers Transport will go into administration, if not before, then on Thursday of this week when the court hearing for the winding-up petition is heard. "

Obviously we can't comment on specific situations, but we read these stories with frustration as a winding up petition by the HMRC is a drastic step. If the directors had acted sooner they may have been able to prevent it being issued.

Once the winding up petition is advertised the company has its bank account frozen and is effectively shut down. This is what is likely to have precipitated the closing of the business.

Have all the options been looked at? A well drafted and realistic company voluntary arrangement may have been able to stop the petition being issued. We have done this with many companies before. HMRC are generally supportive of a good turnaround plan. See our case studies highlighting this fact.

There is much mis-information on CVA's and if you think that CVA's can't be applied to the Haulage Sector then think again. We can deal with OL issues and there is no need for the customers of a company to know that it has gone into a CVA. Even if they do need know we can talk to them. For more information on Mistruths on CVAs visit our CVA Worries page

We have also done a case study on a haulage business that is now doing very well.

Insolvency Statistics Show Modest Rise in use of CVA's

The insolvency statistics have hit the headlines recently as they have shown an increase in the number of personal insolvencies. However, the number of corporate insolvencies have actually fallen in England and Wales.

There were 4,905 receiverships, administrations, or company voluntary arrangements last year. That was 23% fewer than in 2009, which was a record year for company insolvencies.

The number of firms that were liquidated - also fell, by 16% to 16,045.

The total number of company voluntary arrangements has risen modestly in 2010 to 765 compared to 726 in 2009. This reflects the increasing popularity of the CVA as a rescue option where the company facing insolvency has been able to continue to trade. We are pleased to see this growth but fail to understand why more companies do not use the powerful rescue technique.
Scotland has seen the opposite effect where the number of company liquidations has increased by 50% whereas the number of personal insolvencies has fallen by 20% when comparing Q4 2010 to Q4 2009. According to the Accountant in Bankruptcy the Scottish have been better at seeking advice early.

Other areas that have seen a large fall in the number of administrations are as follows;

Midlands down 30%
London and South East down 37%

These figures compare 2010 to 2009 which was a record year for administrations. We believe the tightening of the rules on pre-pack administrations has cut the use of pre pack when it was the fastest growing insolvency method in 2009. Using Statement of Insolvency Practice 16 the insolvency regulators have set out a regime that ensures the system is not abused.

At the moment the economy is in stagnation and the outlook for the rest of 2011 is unclear. Further spending cuts, increases in taxation and even small rises in interest rates could make life more difficult for struggling businesses. Many insolvency firms seem to expect a rise in the number of corporate insolvencies, we are hoping for a rise in the use of CVA’s!

Delta Victor Consultants Limited Liquidation Notice

KSA Insolvency Notices

Delta Victor Consultants Limited - Meeting of Creditors at the offices of KSA Group Ltd, C12 Marquis Court, Marquis Way, Team Valley, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, NE11 0RU on 22 February 2011 at 11.15 am.

See the full notice below;

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Winding up petitions against London companies on the increase again.

Winding up petitions against London companies on the increase again.

The number of Winding up petitions issued by creditors against Central London companies in January was 120 compared with 60 in December, and 86 in November.

This is a sign that creditors are becoming more impatient with companies that owe them money, especially so in London. 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. This is especially the case if the company is on a time to pay scheme and have failed to keep up with payments.

If you have received a threat of a winding up petition then you MUST ACT as service of one can limit your options. If a winding up petition is advertised by the creditor then the bank will freeze your account!

We can help by either seeking an adjournment, getting the petition struck out ( if the debt is disputed) or in the case of the bank freezing the account we can help seek a validation order.

However, the sooner you act the lower the costs of defending your company.

Call us 0800 9700539

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Clairoy Maintenance Chemicals Limited Liquidation Notice

KSA Insolvency Notice

Clairoy Maintenance Chemicals Limited - Meeting of Creditors; SBQ3 Conference & Complex, 65 Smallbrook, Queensway, Birmingham, B5 4HP on 16 February 2011 at 12.00 pm

Full notice below

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Spedycja EWA Limited Liquidation Notice

KSA Insolvency Notice

Spedycja EWA Limited - Meeting of creditors at the offices of KSA Group Ltd, Level 7 Tower 42, 25 Old Broad Street, London, EC2N 1HN on 17 February 2011 at 12.15 pm.

Full notice below;

Polestar Foods Future Uncertain

Some workers at Polestar Foods, that employs some 250 people in Okehampton, were not paid last week according to the BBC, and the factory has halted production. The owner, Privet Capital, said an announcement was expected later today.

Leamington Desserts, a subsidiary of Polestar Foods, went into administration in December and a buyer is being sought.

Last week it was announced 69 jobs are expected to go with the closure of Wiseman Dairy, also in Okehampton.

If you are an employee of the business then take a look at our pages on redundant employee in the event of insolvency.

If you are a supplier to Polestar Foods, then it might be prudent to take advice early if you feel that Polestar's woes will adversely affect you. We can give free advice for at least 30 minutes to company directors or their advisors on insolvency matters.
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