What made the news this week?
Here’s your handy weekly round up of all the business and insolvency stories from the past week that you might have missed.
Next has bought the Cath Kidston brand for £8.5 million out of administration.
The acquisition marks the end of the second administration in two years for the brand but will see the closure of the four remaining UK stores in London, Ashford, Cheshire Oaks and York once remaining stock is sold off.
The website will be handed over to the new owners in 12 weeks time and will join the Next brand portfolio which also includes Victoria’s Secret, Joules and Made.com in being bought out of administration.
A spokesperson said: “Cath Kidston is a well-loved lifestyle brand founded in 1993 and Next will make sure it continues to flower under their ownership.
“The company has over recent years navigated through incredibly challenging market conditions including the pandemic restrictions, and most recently the decline in consumer spending driven by cost of living pressures and rising costs.”
A 30-year-old family design business in Corby has gone into administration with the business closing and 165 positions being made redundant.
Kettle interiors operated offices and two warehouses on site as well as off-site storage facilities.
They sold furniture across the UK and Europe under several brands including Mambo and Mint.
All furniture businesses with an international component have been severely impacted by rocketing shipping costs that have been hard to absorb.
London Resort Company
A company that was planning to build a huge theme park near Dartford in Kent has sought a Creditors Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) to protect it while it restructures.
The London Resort Company had big plans for the park including 50 rides with eight roller coasters, different themed zones along with a 2,000 seat theatre and a nightclub.
Since announcing the plans in 2019, the business also had to contend with several other external issues including the land where it was due to be built being designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) after the discovery of a rare species of jumping spider and nearby Tilbury port being granted freeport status which would mean moving one of their existing ferry terminals to accommodate the park.
The original plans for the park were withdrawn last year with new plans due to be submitted for a smaller design later in 2023 but the CVA could see these delayed further.
A spokesperson for the company said: “LRCH has taken the logical and sensible step of launching a CVA proposal.
“We’ve spoken to many of our creditors who are very happy to support the initiative which would see their debts converted into shares.
“Many millions have been invested into the Swanscombe Peninsula over the last decade and there remains a fantastic opportunity to bring forward exciting proposals.
“This CVA process safeguards everyone’s position and provides an opportunity for a financial return to creditors in the long-term.”
Black Storm Brewery
A prominent Tyneside craft brewery – Black Storm – which was named Independent Brewery of the Year in 2022 has gone into administration citing rising tax bills and ongoing turbulence within the hospitality industry as the main reasons.
Before Covid the business made several acquisitions and employed 27 people through a bottle shop venture in Manchester and bars in Newcastle, Whitley Bay and Stockton-on-Tees before they were scaled back in 2019. They’re-established with a venue in the Royal Quays shopping centre housing a brewing operation and taproom but was closed with five posts being made redundant.
Founder Paul Hughes said: “Unfortunately the journey has come to this point due to not being able to agree a course of action with our largest creditor HMRC, alongside the well documented issues within the brewing and hospitality industry, such as sky high utilities and raw material costs, and the closure of a vast number of our trading partners, which we were not immune to.
Nottingham Creative Quarter
A Creative Quarter organisation jointly founded by Nottingham City Council and Nottingham Trent University is going into liquidation.
For the past ten years the Creative Quarter Company (CQC) has been the home for small businesses and creative minds in the Sneinton Market area of the city centre but members have resolved to wind up the company through a creditors voluntary liquidation process (CVL).
Now the regeneration of the area has been completed the council and university are looking for alternative ways to work together and agree that it was the right time for the company to close.
Tamily Cookson, interim CEO of CQC said: “Although the team and I are sad to say goodbye on behalf of the Creative Quarter Company, we are proud of the legacy that has been created with the city’s Creative Quarter very much established and thriving.
“Our team and partners can celebrate the lasting impact we’ve had on the city with a now defined Creative Quarter that will remain a fantastic destination for work, life and play as well as being a thriving community for professionals and small businesses.”
Allerton Court Hotel
A Northallerton hotel has closed after insolvency proceedings were launched by the company it is owned by, Minories G Limited.
A spokesperson at the hotel confirmed that it had shut and customers with booking in Allerton Court Hotel have received emails cancelling their booking stating the hotel closed on March 24. The email stated they could not rebook however if they had paid a deposit they were eligible for a refund.
Companies House states that the firm has entered into a voluntary liquidation and is set to be wound up.
Finchale Training College
A historic Durham charity has been liquidated after struggling to meet funding requirements.
Finchale Training College was founded in World War Two and has helped thousands of veterans as well as expanding to help people with disabilities and physical and mental health needs.
The long standing charity went into administration to protect its assets in October 2022 after years of making losses.
There had been several meetings with parties interested in buying Finchale as a going concern but talks stopped as it was determined the underlying business was ultimately not viable.
The spokesperson for the charity said: “The company had a historic trust based pension scheme that had a significant deficit. A payment plan was agreed with the pension trustees and various large payments were made to the pension fund from the sale proceeds.
“The company missed a payment in 2022 and was negotiating an updated payment plan but no agreement could be reached.
“There had been significant changes in staff and board members in recent years. The directors and senior management team implemented various turnaround plans, however the company continued to make losses. The turnaround plans and revenue streams were also fundamentally impacted by the restrictions introduced as a result of Covid-19
“The financial pressures mounted and the company struggled to manage its cost base or generate new revenue by increasing the student uptake on its courses so the decision was made to liquidate the business.”
Triangle of Sadness
A company behind an Oscar nominated movie could be liquidated following a winding up petition being brought.
A petition was filed to London High Court by HMRC to shut down Triangle of Sadness Limited, the company that had the same name as the movie, after they had fallen behind on filing its VAT returns. They are also 18 months behind filing separate Companies House accounts.
A spokesperson for the company admitted that the VAT return and Companies House accounts had not been filed but they were working to rectify that.
Once the VAT return is filed and the company can demonstrate there is no outstanding VAT, the company can apply for the liquidation process to be reversed.
We’re nearly a quarter of the way through 2023 already but April already has some nasty surprises waiting for business owners in the form of rising business rates, corporation taxes and more.
So no matter what specific challenges your company faces, after a free initial consultation with one of our expert advisors, you will have a better idea of your options than before and a clear path ahead with no misconceptions.