What stories did you miss this month?
While a lot of people’s thoughts and attentions begin to turn to Christmas and a well deserved break, it’s also a chance to catch up on a lot of the important business and insolvency stories that happened this month including some more retail names more energy companies entering administration, well established businesses entering liquidation and others being able to restructure their debts successfully with a CVA.
Find out what else happened this December here.
The clothing and homeware retailer Joules has gone into administration.
Founded in 1989, the business has 132 stores across the UK and employs 1,600 staff members who will be worrying about their immediate future, but administrators are confident they can conduct a sale of the business as a going concern.
The business sought additional emergency investment but has been hit by a fall in consumer confidence and the subsequent cost of living crisis that has detrimentally affected the disposable income of their customers.
Company founder Tom Joule said: “This was a deeply disappointing day for Joules, and a sad day for me personally.”
Administrators have been appointed to clothing retailer M&Co just two years after the company exited a previous administration.
First founded in 1834, the company has been struggling with falling sales and financial woes for some time and the future of its 170 shops are in jeopardy.
A spokesman said: “Like many retailers, the company has experienced a sharp rise in its input costs, which has coincided with a decline in consumer confidence leading to increased pressure on cash flows and trading losses.
“No immediate redundancies have been made and the joint administrators are exploring a potential sale of the business in an accelerated time frame, during which time the company will continue to trade from its stores and website.
“Despite a very loyal customer base, particularly in local markets, and a well-recognised brand, the current economic outlook has placed increasing pressure on the company’s cash position.”
Vivrail, who maintain the trains on the Marston Vale Line, has gone into administration. Resulting in the suspension of the train services between Bedford and Bletchly until further notice.
John Doughty, LNR engineering director, said: “Following the news that Vivarail is to enter administration, we have been left with no alternative but to pause the service as we can no longer guarantee the required level of maintenance for the trains on the route will be available.
“We are working hard to find a solution which will enable us to return a train service to the line as soon as possible and we will keep our passengers updated.”
The Bicycle Academy
The Bicycle Academy (TBA), located in Somerset, has permanently closed after more than ten years of being a leading name in bike building.
It was announced via Instagram that they had gone into liquidation through Kingmakers TBA, who has great influence over the UK frame builder community.
Founder Andrew Denham wrote that it was ‘the combined impact of Covid, unplanned relocation of the workshop, Brexit, supply chain issues, commodities and energy prices, cost of living increases and inflation’ that created ‘a perfect storm’, forcing TBA to put an end to the business.
He concluded, ‘The TBA workshop has closed its doors for the last time, and we’re all moving on. Things will never be the same, but TBA will always have been what it was. I’m really proud of that.
Go-Centric has ceased trading immediately, leaving around 600 call centre employees in limbo just weeks before christmas. The company is the third firm associated with David Harper which has collapsed after being given public contracts.
The Glasgow-based firm was given almost £10 million from the Scottish Government to manage Test and Protect contact trading services during the pandemic.
Dot Bagel’s Heaton store is set to reopen following a rescue deal after it collapsed into liquidation last month.
Documents released by liquidators showed that the business had liabilities of £368,775. Now the branch will reopen with expanded cafe facilities and an expanded range of hot and cold drinks as well as parties and pies.
Stuart Young, owner of Kennedy & Rhind Ltd, said Dot Bagel was a perfect fit for the company. He said: “We will be offering a range of bagels as Dot Bagel did in the past but customers will also now be able to enjoy the range of baked goods that we offer at Kennedy & Rhind and at the various pop-ups we run.
“We are delighted to not only have taken over the brand but also to have been able to give most of the old team their jobs back. We have initially created around 12 jobs and hopefully that number will continue to grow.”
He added: “We believe the new look Dot Bagel, with its expanded product range will be really popular. We are looking forward to unveiling the full menu in the very near future.”
Bristol based beer brand Wild Beer Co has gone into administration after struggling to recover from the pressures of Covid while trying to absorb rising costs across the board.
Administrators are hopeful of finding a buyer as a going concern but have confirmed that the company has ceased to trade in the meantime.
A statement from the business said: “It has been a wild 10 years and we are heartbroken to be in this position. We could see the potential for Wild Beer and we had ambitions to increase sales and brand exposure.
“The business has been hit by a number of adverse trading conditions including Covid, the loss of export sales due to Brexit, soaring production costs, damaging inflation and an increase in interest rates.”
23 jobs have been lost following Newton Aycliffe based tool manufacturer collapsing into administration.
Mold systems described itself as a technical toolmaker supplying a variety of markets including the medical, pharmaceutical, laboratory, caps and closures, packaging and automotive.
Administrators handling Newton Aycliffe-based Mold Systems (Europe) Ltd say there has been interest in the company’s brand and assets from potential buyers. Apart from that little detail has been revealed about the current administration. However, partial accounts for the firm to the end of October 2021 show it had creditor amounts of more than £570,000 due within a year.
Northcore and Shade
A pair of online retailers have called in administrators. Northcore is a maker of premium surf and adventure sports equipment with its headquarters in Lincolnshire and Shade specialises in the sale of sunglasses, glasses and watches is based in Bury.
A statement on their behalf said: “The joint administrators are currently reviewing the financial position of both companies to ascertain the prospect of continuing to trade the businesses, and the viability to sell them as a going concern.”
The Little Gin Shack
A premium gin shop and bar in Cornwall has gone into administration. The Little Gin Shack has closed its doors permanently following the impact of the cost of living crisis.
The Little Gin Shack was a shop selling premium gins and other local spirits, wines and ales. It was also a gin bar and organised tasting events.
In a statement, its owner Neil previously said: “It is with such great regret that today, The Little Gin Shack closed its doors for the last time. Post pandemic recovery, rising energy costs and prices in general, and a bleak outlook for the economy has unfortunately put paid to a business I have devoted nearly five years of my life to.
“I’ve loved every minute of my journey, some more than others I hasten to add (!), and will miss my business terribly. Thank you everyone – and keep enjoying your gin!”
Wade Ceramics has collapsed into administration after filing a ‘notice of intention to appoint administrators’ twice. It is understood that the bombshell decision has resulted in the loss of around 140 jobs at the firm’s Festival Park factory.
The pottery giants have blamed the decision on the ‘loss of a major customer’ and the current economic situation.
A spokesman for the administrator said: “The company is a long-established manufacturer, producing ceramic bottles for well-known brands in the liquor and spirit industry.
“Due to the loss of a major customer at the start of the year, as well as current economic challenges, including rising energy and supply costs, the directors concluded that the business was no longer viable in its current form and, regrettably, the company has ceased to trade. The joint administrators will now be taking all necessary steps to maximise returns for the benefit of all creditors in accordance with our legal duties.”
Active Maintenance Solutions Limited (AMS), a London based building contractor, has confirmed that they have gone into administration.
AMS Limited employs 24 people and undertakes construction projects in both the public and private sector.
Founder and owner Gerry Donaghy expressed his sadness, citing insurmountable financial challenges caused by inflationary cost pressures.
He said: “We set up the business in 2000 and in the 22 years since, we have never faced the financial pressures and difficulties that we have experienced of late. It is with such deep regret that we have to make this decision.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank our dedicated and skilled workforce. We recognise the blow this has on all who depend on the company for employment, which will be felt all the more painfully given the time of year. Despite our best efforts we find ourselves in this position.”
A Bonnyrigg based manufacturing company that made sustainable luxury modular accommodation including glamping pods has gone into administration with the immediate loss of 29 positions.
First founded in 2010, the company served the high-end leisure and wellness sectors as well as education and had several new projects lined up both in Scotland, Portugal, Dubai and the USA.
A spokesperson said: “Despite this strong order book, the company experienced significant cash flow challenges as a result of order deferrals in the wake of the pandemic, the rising cost of raw materials and the cost/time burden of exporting to the EU.
“Despite the exhaustive efforts of the management team, with cash flow pressures intensifying, the directors had no option but to take the very difficult decision to seek the appointment of administrators.”
The business has now ceased to trade while administrators remain confident that a buyer can be found.
Many companies are hoping that the ongoing Christmas trading period will be the busiest for several years and while the holidays themselves will be full of busy moments, there will be the odd few hours when business owners and directors can get some time to themselves.
They can begin to plan for the year ahead and what they can do to make things easier and better for their companies and we’re delighted to say that we’ll be there to help if they want to get in touch over the break.
We continue to offer our free, initial consultation for directors and business owners that gives them the chance to go through their situation in detail with one of our team of expert advisors.
They can then help them come up with a realistic, step-by-step plan to improve their prospects if at all possible or if it’s more advantageous to close the company, work with them to do so efficiently and with as little stress as possible.
No matter what choices they make, BusinessRescueExpert will be there to guide them at every stage but only if they take the first step and get in touch first.