All the headlines from August 5th to 11th
Summer creeps on and with the Premier League about to start it means that Autumn is finally in sight too.
So whether you’ve had a holiday already or are getting some much needed downtime now, you can use some of it to catch up on all the important and interesting business and insolvency news from the previous seven days right here.
After giving notice of intention to appoint administrators last week, home and garden retailer Wilko has followed through and confirmed the appointment placing dozens of stores and up to 12,000 jobs at potential risk.
Mark Jackson, chief executive, said: “We left no stone unturned when it came to preserving this incredible business but must concede that with regret, we’ve no choice but to take the difficult decision to enter into administration.”
Administrators are expected to continue to seek buyers for at least part of the business after talks with potential investors failed over the past week.
Founded in 1930 by JK Wilkinson in Leicester when he opened his first store, Wilko stepped into the many high street gaps left by the collapse of Woolworths in 2008 but has struggled itself in the tough economic climate for retailers.
Suppliers recently paused or reduced their supplies to the business leaving empty gaps on the shelves after the company struggled to meet its commitments and at least one credit insurer withdrew trade cover as a result.
Scottish digital skills academy Codeclan based in Edinburgh has gone into liquidation with the loss of 57 positions.
Established in 2015, They looked to increase digital skills across Scotland and provide a base for new talent to thrive.
Unfortunately the business was significantly impacted by Covid as, in addition to providing training to individuals, it derived a significant proportion of income from placing them into employment after training.
A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to help support seven students finish their training courses with money also going towards instructors to help them.
An independent Scottish bingo chain has gone into administration with three venues in Alloa, Cowdenbeath and Perth closing with immediate effect with the loss of 150 positions.
Premier Bingo opened during the pandemic and the ongoing cost of living crisis and soaring energy costs have proved too much for the business to trade on.
Solar panel installers GET Installations have gone into administration and are hoping to be sold in whole or part to new owners. 16 positions have been made redundant immediately while another 35 have been retained in the hope of a sale in the near future.
The business did the majority of its work across London working on the “Solar Together” scheme from 2020 which saw 1,000 installations in London as well as Cambridgeshire and Warwickshire.
The company recently lost their Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) accreditation which meant the business was no longer able to continue to trade.
One of the UK’s best known card retailers could be going into administration as it faces “acute financial distress”.
Clintons Cards have planned to close around 20% of their stores immediately in order to avoid going into insolvency.
38 stores have been earmarked for closure which would join the 156 closed in December 2019 when the company was purchased by new owners in a pre-pack administration agreement.
The owners explored a merger with Paperchase in late 2022 but were unable to complete it. As a result Paperchase went into administration in January 2019 before its brand and intellectual property was bought by Tesco.
The store closure plan has “been designed to avoid insolvency and allow rescue as a going concern” but the retailer stressed “we will have no option but to commence formal insolvency proceedings” if they are unable to secure a deal.
Pitch and Bayside Social
A West Sussex restaurant owned and operated by a former BBC Masterchef winner is closing down and going into liquidation.
Kenny Tutt opened the restaurant in Worthing in July 2021 – his second venture after winning Masterchef in 2018.
A statement from the business said: “We are incredibly sad to have to close our business, but we’re working with all our staff to help them seek other employment in the local area, and have also been able to employ over half of the team on a new project we’re working on.
“We’re working through the process of closing down the business including official voluntary liquidation which does take time.”
A historic leather goods company from Yeovil that is listed on the stock market has announced they intend to appoint administrators.
Directors of Pittards have tried to raise £1 million in additional funds in order to continue trading but have been unsuccessful in this attempt as they only raised £330,000 in this round and it was deemed insufficient to continue.
A statement was issued to the stock exchange which said: “On July 27 2023, the company announced that it was considering all its strategic options for the benefit of its stakeholders which could include an orderly sale of the business and assets of the company.
“Whilst a sale process has been initiated, due to the group’s current financial uncertainty and in light of increased creditor pressure, following discussions with its advisors the board has regrettably resolved to file a notice of intention to appoint administrators to the company as soon as reasonably practicable.
“The board is taking this action to protect the interests of its creditors.”
Pittards has a long history in the leather and glove making industries in the Yeovil and Somerset areas. They employ 200 people in the UK and a further 1,000 in Ethiopia. They produce products for third parties and their own owned sub-brands Daines & Hathaway and Hill & Friends.
Trading in the company’s shares are currently suspended pending publication of final financial results which have been delayed.
Thomas Dornan Printers
A historic Oldham based printer has gone into administration and is selling its assets after the failure to find a buyer for the whole business as a going concern.
Thomas Dornan (Printers) was founded in 1848 which makes it the UK’s third oldest printing firm. They latterly specialised in digital, litho and large format printing with a team of 15 employees.
Despite its history and reputation the business was impacted by Covid-19 and other recent challenges. A statement from the company said: “This is an historic company which has its roots in the birth of the printing industry in this country.
“Recent business challenges meant the director explored every option before entering the company into administration.”
1066 Community Bank
An East Sussex credit union with 590 members has gone into administration this week.
Hastings & Rother Credit Union Ltd trading as 1066 Community Bank went into administration due to regulatory and solvency issues. The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) has reassured customers that their money is safe and that it will compensate most of the members within seven days, subject to the FSCS limit.
All members’ funds below the £85,000 limit are protected and repaid but members will be required to continue repaying any loans in accordance with their agreement.
The credit union’s office in Hastings has closed immediately.
A Nuclear decommissioning services company in Scotland that was sold for £3 earlier this year has gone into administration.
JFN Limited was acquired by a UK private equity firm Rcapital in March but administrators have been appointed after the company stated that it had “insufficient cash resources to continue to trade beyond the short term” and directors concluded that there is “no longer any reasonable prospect of a sale.”
A statement said: “This is a tremendously sad day for everyone who has been involved in the business.
“JFN Limited has been a market-leading technical services business to the UK nuclear decommissioning sector for over 30 years, however it has incurred losses in recent years associated with a number of uneconomical long-term contracts which have resulted in a significant funding requirement for the business.
“Over the past few months, the directors and key stakeholders have worked tirelessly to try and safeguard the future of the business. Regrettably the company has insufficient cash resources to continue to trade beyond the short term and the directors have concluded that there is no longer any reasonable prospect of a sale.
“The administrators will focus on effecting a wind-down of the majority of operations over the next few weeks, while continuing to explore interest in parts of the business.”
Leeds based doorstep lending firm CLC Finance has gone into administration this week.
The high-cost lender offered short term cash loans to customers across the north of England and Scotland. No new lending will be made by the company as administrators wind it down and collect loan books while looking to maximise realisations in the interests of creditors.
The Financial Conduct Authority confirmed all existing loan agreements were still in place adding: “The firm’s administration does not change the payment terms and conditions of customers’ loans, these are the same as when the loan was taken out. The firm remains subject to the same regulatory rules and requirements as it did prior to its administration.”
Whether now is the busiest period of the year for your business or if you’re able to take some deserved time off – it’s also the perfect time to plan what you’d like the rest of 2023 to look like for your business.
Depending on what your plans are, our advisors will look at where you are now and what choices you have available.
The most important step is the first one so make your appointment today and make hay while the sun is possibly shining!