With CVLs 22 Per Cent Up ... What's Happening Out There?

Posted on Feb 22, 2023. by NTI

We know from experience that Begbies Traynor would have worked their socks off to find a buyer or buyers for the Paperchase assets, the brand having slotted nicely into the empty shelves of fruit and veg at Tesco, but sometimes it is too hard even for the best to sell a dead dog.

Administrators from Begbies had been hoping to find a buyer, but yesterday (Tuesday 21 February) said it was “not anticipated that there will be any further material sale of all or part of the remaining business”. This means the shutters go down on the card and stuffed animal store, its online business having closed on 17 February, once it had squeezed the very life out of the Valentines market for bent pieces of printed cardboard and pointless accoutrements.

A new Moonpig is now rising. How chuffed they must be.

At the less glamorous end of the market, Tolent plc has entered into Administration with 313 staff being made redundant. The Gateshead-based contractor is one of the largest in the North East, with a revenue of £200 million, and is the 67th largest in the UK's ranking of the UK’s biggest contractors. That's a lot of construction sites to board up and redundant scaffolding to collect in five years time. NTI's old friends James Lumb and Howard Smith of Interpath cited heavy losses incurred from the company's biggest project to date, the £85.5 million 450,000 sq ft Milburngate development on the banks of the River Wear in the heart of Durham, as one of the primary drivers behind the company's Administration.

The development was advertised with 60,000 square feet of retail and leisure space, whilst being designed (it appears) by four primary school children with a ruler and their Mum's biro, following the brief - 'make it stand out like a sore thumb in this beautiful city'. These kids are good.

What price a return of deposits for those who had selected one of the 159 'luxury apartments'? Good luck James and Howard sorting that conundrum out.

Meanwhile, new Kroll TV star Matt Ingram and Liz Welch of Kroll have their hands full dealing with the Administration of Clockfair Limited, which owns Birmingham-based Broadway Casino. The pandemic applied a mortal blow to those who enjoyed nothing more than surrendering all of their savings at the door of the casino, and - with so many online ways to attract penury and hoplessness into their lives - customer footfall at the joint did not return to pre-Covid levels, further impacting the company's working capital and ability to pay its debts.

Better news for the employees of IDC Limited, an Aylesbury-based wholesale food distributor, entered Administration on the 3rd of this month, with Ben Woodthorpe and Mark Supperstone of ReSolve being appointed as Joint Administrators, who immediately pre-packed it to Menu Fresh Limited, a company majority owned by Christopher Edwards, the CEO and director of IDC. 99 jobs were saved in a perfect example of why the Daily Mail is wrong and we in our glorious sector are right - what we do really does make a difference.

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