Can Anyone Help The Telegraph Media Group With a Definition of 'Administration'?

Posted on Jun 07, 2023. by NTI

This afternoon (Wednesday 7 June) the NTI newsroom are seeking assistance from anyone 'in the know'. You see, we foolishly thought that the objectives of an Administration (as set out in paragraph 3 of Schedule B1 of the Insolvency Act 1986) were:

(a)  Rescuing the company as a going concern; or

(b)  Achieving a better result for the company’s creditors as a whole than would be likely if the company were wound up (without first being in Administration); or

(c)  Realising property in order to make a distribution to one or more secured or preferential creditors.

We had no idea that a bank or other secured lender could use the process, or threat of it, to force the owners of a business (in this case, the Telegraph Media Group (TMG)) to do as they were told.

We also question whether this makes Lloyds Bank (in the instance which gives rise to our ponderings) a shadow director under section 251 Insolvency Acty 1986, where it states such a director is someone whose instructions the board are accustomed to following.

Whilst we we cogitating this question we learnt that Lloyds Banking Group threatened to put the owner of the Daily and Sunday Telegraph into Administration after the breakdown of talks with the Barclay family, the owner of the newspapers. Alix Partners have emerged from the wings as the company to lead any such Administration. The bank are said to have "come to the end of the road" in its relationship with TMG's owners.

The Times tried to clear matters up for us when it said: "Press Acquisitions is understood to be the entity at risk of going into receivership." We get the bit of that sentence about 'Press Acquisitions', they just lost us again when they mentioned 'receivership' at the end of it. Which is it, The Times? Administration? Receivership? This isn't a case of 'tomato' 'tomato' (please pronounce those words differently in your head as you read them), it is more like 'tomato' 'dry cleaners'.

The Times have made a valiant-ish effort to clear things up this afternoon, reporting: "AlixPartners has seized control of shares owned by the Barclay family in a move which will force the sale of the Daily and Sunday Telegraph and The Spectator magazine" under the disappointing headline, 'Receiver AlixPartners seizes control of Barclay family’s Telegraph shares'.


 Alix Partners could not be drawn for comment, so we are going to have to wait to be more clearly informed. Interesting though ...


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