As the UK gets hit by a cold snap, many businesses are beginning to feel an economic chill too.
Many companies are finding their belts are as tight as they can get as customers are doing the same after a busy holiday period and six more weeks of winter to endure.
So this is the perfect time to take a couple of minutes to catch up on all the important business and insolvency news stories you might have missed in the past seven days.
If you want to know what accountants need to know about insolvency; why there was no Christmas cheer in December’s corporate insolvency statistics and why directors disqualifications are on the rise – you can do that at our advice centre page.
The UK’s biggest nightclub owner and operator have filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators (NOA).
Rekom UK which owns the Atik and Pryzm brands are looking to restructure after an “extremely difficult” year for the late night sector.
We’ve previously written about the challenges but the largest operator appointing administrators is an even bigger crisis by order of magnitude.
Rekom UK runs 35 nightclubs and 12 late night bars across the UK. Peter Marks, chair of the firm said administration would “give the business breathing space and protection to work with lenders, landlords and other stakeholders on a potential restructuring plan.”
He cited the pressure from the cost-of-living crisis and rises in the price of energy and goods and the disproportionate effect they have had on the lives of the young adults and students who primarily used their venues. Additionally, he said that the firm would need to find an additional £2 million in wages from April with the planned rise in the minimum wage.
He said: “This led to us having to accept that the group cannot continue in its current structure.
“We must go through this restructure to be able to come out stronger for the future. For any venues that may not continue, we’ll do our best to find new owners and save jobs.”
Rekom UK took over from previous owners the Deltic Group in late 2020 after they went into administration following the enforced closure of sites during the pandemic.
An Anglesey based logistics and shipping company has gone into administration.
Gwynedd Shipping Ltd has ceased trading and closed its depots in Holyhead, Deeside and Newport.
The business would celebrate its 40th anniversary this year and offered shipping, transport, warehousing and customs clearance services in the construction and steel sectors. It operates a fleet of 650 trailers with 50 permanent staff as well as HGV drivers.
North Brewing Co
A brewery with eight bars in Leeds has filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators this week.
North, formerly the North Brewing Co has confirmed it is looking for more funds as the company confirmed that Brexit and increased costs had hit the business.
A statement from the business said: “We’re currently working with advisors and have recently commenced a process to seek additional investment into our business, which will enable us to push forward with our plans for 2024 and beyond.
“Like the rest of the hospitality and brewing world, over the last four years we’ve endured the turbulence of Covid, Brexit, material cost increases, interest rate rises and the cost of living crisis.”
They confirmed that all their properties would remain open and trading for the time being.
The Gentlemen Barristas
A London coffee company has appointed administrators and closed seven outlets with immediate effect.
The Gentlemen Barristas was founded in 2014 and grew to 11 sites in the capital establishing a wholesale coffee business supplying cafes, restaurants and hotels alongside direct-to-consumer packaged coffee subscriptions.
UK coffee businesses have faced a tough 18 months with acute staff shortages, high energy and property costs along with dampened consumer confidence leading to less spending on luxury treats.
TXM Plant Ltd
A Wigan based supplier of road-rail vehicles has gone into administration with the immediate loss of 150 positions.
TXM Plant Ltd, Equipment and Track Solutions Ltd and Bacchus Newco provided and operated specialist road-rail vehicles to UK rail contractors involved in track maintenance, renewal and other infrastructure projects from seven depots located across England.
The business faced severe financial challenges with customer demand falling and industry wide budgetary challenges, along with persistent high inflation and increased interest rates.
Directors explored multiple options to support the business including raising additional capital, refinancing existing debt and running a sale processes. Unfortunately none of these efforts were successful and they took the difficult decision to appoint administrators.
A distribution business based in the Scottish Highlands is closing with the potential loss of almost 300 positions.
Menzies Parcels provides courier services to the highlands, islands, Grampians and Argyll through 15 depots handling 8,000 deliveries and 800 collections daily.
A statement from directors said: “The business has been incurring significant losses over the last two years and, having exhausted all other options, has come to the disappointing conclusion that it is no longer sustainable in its current form.
“Therefore, working with our employees and customers, we regret that the last day of business for Parcels Scotland will be 29th February 2024.”
Perry Barr Market Properties
A company operating a market hall in a Birmingham shopping centre has gone into administration, greatly inconveniencing the 30 traders and operators who were given two hour’s notice to clear stock and personal belongings from the One Stop Shopping Centre.
Perry Barr Market Properties oversaw the area. A letter displayed outside the centre said: “We write to formally advise you that the company has instructed administrators.
“The appointment arose as a consequence of the insolvency of the company, in circumstances where it has not been in a position to continue to pay its debts as they fall due.
Autism Understanding Scotland
An Aberdeen based autism support charity has announced plans to close at the end of January after its funding for children’s services was cut by the Scottish government.
The charity said they had faced “significant issues” in attracting long-term funding and having that funding arrive in a timely manner. This was exacerbated by being a relatively new charity meaning many funds were not available to them.
Despite previously obtaining three years worth of funding from the National Post Diagnostic Fund pilot, this was discontinued at short notice which was “a huge blow to autism charities and autistic persons and organisations across Scotland.”
“We are beyond devastated that this is the case and we realise this is distressing news to many and wanted to assure people that we have worked hard to avoid this outcome.”
The National Post Diagnostic Fund programme ran from December 2020 to March 2023 and supported projects and services all over the country to help families, children and young people with autism.
All Sorts Mailing Solutions
A Dorset based direct mail specialist has gone into liquidation after ceasing trading at the end of last month.
Founded in 1998, All Sorts Mailing Solutions provided printing and distribution services to a range of industries and clients including B&Q, Dorset Council, Verifone and the NHS.
Managing Director Tim Beech said: “Our biggest customer was affected by market conditions and really reduced their volume, so our volumes went down and, looking forward, it was not really sustainable, so we took the decision to put the business into liquidation.
The liquidators confirmed there was no possibility for any sale of the business and that its fixtures, fittings, equipment and stock would be sold via public auction.
One way to get your business fired up in 2024 is to get some professional and impartial advice from experts on what you can do to strengthen and secure your business.
Our team will work with them to come up with the most feasible and effective plans they can implement in the short, medium and hopefully longer term picture.