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By October 7, 2020 Read More →

AGENDA WEST BUSINESS INSOLVENCY NEWS: historic railway goes bust; Call Print leaves creditors with £1.2m in unpaid invoices; and family firm Clarks shoe shops seek CVA

Covid 19 rules are killing business

The Covid-19 rules are destroying perfectly good businesses is the view of Ian Carrotte of ICSM Credit. Politicians don’t seem to understand what they are doing to the business community as the rules are taking away customers and increasing unemployment more rapidly than any fiancial crisis he said. The failures include heritage railways and shoe shops – let alone pubs hit by the 10pm law.

Running out of steam

That bastion of good old fashioned news reporting the Cumberland and Westmoreland Herald has recorded the sad news that the South Tynedale Railway operator has entered administration with the loss of five jobs on the heritage line.

The newspaper said: “The company which runs the narrow gauge line between Alston and Slaggyford, has become insolvent and is no longer active, with five of its employees, based in Alston, having been made redundant. However, the separate South Tynedale Railway Preservation Society — which has run and developed the line since 1983 — is still going strong and its trustees and volunteers believe they might be able to keep their popular steam locomotives operating in future years. The line has been shut this season because of the coronavirus pandemic.”

Ian Carrotte of ICSM Credit said any business that is only allowed 20% of its usual customers due to Covid-19 restrictions will fail. He said: “The Government needs to show more common sense in imposing the rules on all forms of business. You can squash onto a tube in London but not take your place next so someone on a heritage railway carriage. It’s leading to the demise of perfectly good operations.”

The trustees and volunteers will look after the railway site over the winter while consideration is given to a new business model under which the line could be run on a voluntary basis.

The end extended

Print Week’s Jo Francis has reported this week on the administration process for Call Print Group Ltd and Call Print Services Ltd which has been extended again.

She wrote: “In their latest progress report to creditors sent at the end of last month, joint administrators Philip Duffy and Benjamin Wiles of Duff & Phelps said that the administration had been extended by order of the court to 31 August 2021. An administration usually comes to an end after one year. The Call Print Group and Call Print Services process was originally extended on 1 August 2019.

“A year ago Printweek revealed that the administrators had found “material misstatements” in the group’s previously filed accounts and had deployed forensic accountants as part of an investigation into transactions that took place prior to its administration. A number of creditors were known to have flagged concerns about the sale of Callprint’s Dubai-based business, Call Print Express, to the group’s then-managing director Steve Cheek less than a month before the business filed an NOI (notice of intention to appoint administrators).”

Duffy and Wiles said in their latest report: “Previously, several letters before action were issued with a view to recovering funds for the companies, based upon evidence uncovered in the joint administrators’ investigations. The joint administrators cannot, at this stage, detail the nature of the claims made, as doing so could hamper any further actions which may be required.”

The majority of Call Print’s trade and assets were acquired by Hobs Group in a pre-pack deal. Call Print owed trade creditors more than £1.2m at the time of administration.

Shoe shops in trouble

Business Report have highlighted the plight of struggling family-owned footwear retailer, Clarks, as it seeks a settlement with its creditors.

They said: “A Company Voluntary Arrangement is being mooted, led by LionRock Capital. The CVA would involve up to 50 shop closures as well as a switch to turnover-based rents. Also upon the CVAs approval would be more than £100m fresh capital investment from the Hong-Kong based private equity fund. This would be the first time that the founding family shareholder would loose majority control over the company, in all of its 195-year existence.”

About ICSM Credit

ICSM Credit has more than four decades of experience as a credit intelligence group whose members gain inside information about firms in trouble allowing them to avoid bad debts and rogue traders. To join costs less than a tank of fuel – while at the moment there’s a special free temporary membership offer during the Covid-19 crisis which gives access to free legal letters. ICSM also has an effective debt collecting service which has a global reach – ask for details from Paul.

For details about ICSM Credit call 0844 854 1850 or visit the website www.icsmcredit.com or email Ian at Ian.carrotte@icsmcredit.com on how to subscribe and to join the UK’s credit intelligence network to avoid bad debts and late payers. Follow ICSM Credit on FaceBook, Twitter and YouTube and Ian Carrotte on LinkedIn.

To keep up to date subscribe to the FREE ICSM Credit Newsletter to hear all the latest insolvency news and to see who has gone out of business click on the orange panel on the top left of the home page of the website www.icsmcredit.com or send an email to Ian.carrotte@icsmcredit.com

For details for the work of the journalist Harry Mottram visit www.harrymottram.co.uk

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