The chancellor’s Autumn statement will be taking up all the headlines for the rest of this week but this means that there will be a lot of important and interesting insolvency and business news stories that will be shoved to the side as a result.
Don’t worry – you can grab a few minutes and catch up with them all here in our regular weekly news round up!
So whether you want to know why anti-phoenixing legislation might affect directors closing their solvent businesses or why the retail sector might be looking at its own nightmare before Christmas – or want to check out our new Accountant’s Hub – you can find them all here and more.
Miskin Manor Hotel
A Grade-II listed hotel near Cardiff has gone into administration.
The directors of Miskin Manor Hotel & Spa in Pontyclun made the decision after the four star hotel and popular local wedding venue had to close due to significant cash flow pressures.
Previously a private residence, Miskin Manor was transformed into a country house hotel in 1985 with the owners taking control in 1996. The hotel sits on 22 acres with 42 bedrooms, a health club, fine dining restaurant and events space.
Administrators are hopeful of a sale as a going concern with lots of potential.
York Cocoa House
A York based chocolate manufacturer has filed notice to appoint administrators after failing to recover from the pandemic.
York Cocoa House had been trading since 2011 and had its own production facility in Castlegate in the city centre.
Their mission statement was to bring fine chocolate making back to the city where Rowntree’s was founded.
The business entered into a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) in 2020 to better manage its debt and schedule payments to creditors but was unable to recover sufficiently.
Morses Club/Shelby Finance
Nottingham based doorstep lenders Morses Club and sister company Shelby Finance have gone into administration with the immediate loss of 101 positions.
While Morses Club provided “home collect credit”, Shelby Finance provided online loans operating as the Dot Dot Loans brand.
Directors said that the companies had been under sustained financial pressure for some time with the situation being exacerbated in recent years by Morses Club facing a significant number of customer redress claims for unaffordable lending.
The business had sought to restructure and refinance its existing debt facilities but was ultimately unsuccessful.
Administrators stressed that customers should continue to make repayments of outstanding loans in the usual way to protect their own credit ratings.
A Corby based groundworks and civil engineering contractor has gone into administration this week.
NRI Civils specialised in domestic and commercial groundworks, as well as road and sewer projects.
Earlier this year it was involved with a controversial Barratt Homes development in Cambridge where 70 new-build homes were scheduled for demolition after problems with the foundations were identified.
They also worked with Balfour Beaty, Bellway, Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon.
Founded in 2013, NRI Civils employed 11 people in various positions which are now uncertain.
Treka Bus/Vehicle Conversion Specialists
A West Yorkshire minibus manufacturer had appointed administrators after falling into financial difficulties.
Brighouse based Treka Bus employs 69 staff in a variety of roles including welding, fibreglass finishing, electrical engineering and back office administration. The company supplied products to a range of customers in the private, public and charitable sectors.
The site was closed in 2022 for a period leading to a fall in sales due to a shortage of critical components. Directors had hoped to return to normal trading conditions in 2023 but sadly this was not the case.
Another company in the same group, Vehicle Conversion Specialists, based in Bradford has also gone into administration at the same time.
Described as “the largest dedicated ambulance and police vehicle factory in the UK”, 150 positions are now in doubt while the administration process proceeds.
Birch Hotel Properties
A lifestyle membership club with two upscale properties has gone into administration.
Birch Hotel Properties opened in 2020 but have closed their Cheshunt site with immediate effect while the administrators operate their Selsdon site with the decision being taken after the project ran into “cash constraints”.
The aim was to have a hub of bedrooms, a farm, restaurants, a bakery, bar, guest spaces and a co-working space along with leisure and spa facilities.
Administrators will now consider all available options.
A Sheffiedl legal and financial group has filed a notice of intention to appoint an administrator.
SSB Group had been trading since 2007 and employed 162 staff in various law, funding, insurance and financial compliance positions.
The company specialised in personal injury and negligence law including criminal injuries and road traffic accidents.
A statement from the business acknowledged “severe financial challenges” but was hopeful that a solution could be found that would allow the continuation of the company.
A 75-year-old family owned demolition specialist has applied for administration.
The Squibb Group employed 180 staff from its Essex headquarters but pulled staff from the various sites they were working on this week.
A company voluntary arrangement (CVA) meeting was scheduled this week but was withdrawn at the last moment and an administration process pursued instead.
The business set up a time to pay (TTP) agreement with HMRC last year to clear tax arrears but a further extension was rejected and a winding up petition was due to be heard later this month brought by HMRC.
While companies look through the details of the Autumn statement, they will be acutely aware that while various goodies and treats might be promised – energy bills are rising; interest rates and inflation remains high and costs continue to increase across the board.
With a new year just around the corner – time is of the essence to identify and make any changes that can potentially make a financial difference to companies that are facing difficulties.
They’ll explain what is and isn’t feasible for a company and what they can do to start 2024 in the strongest possible position.