CAPA is seeking to recover cash for the creditors of a long-standing family bakery business, after high street pressures forced the firm to put its retail business into liquidation.
Aulds, which traded from 26 sites around Scotland, is one of the largest independent bakery group’s in the country, having grown since its inception in 1900.
But in August 2018 the group placed its retail arm, Thomas Auld & Sons Limited, into liquidation as part of a wider group turnaround plan. Paul Dounis and Steve Ross of RSM Restructuring Advisory were appointed joint liquidators of the retail business on August 2.
Pressure from high street and supermarket competition, as well as increasing ingredient, distribution and wage costs, dragged the group’s retail business into an unsustainable loss-making position.
While Thomas Auld & Sons was hit by similar problems affecting other retailers, the liquidation did not impact the three other subsidiary companies within the Auld group - Aulds Bakeries Ltd, Auld the Bakers Ltd and Aulds Delicious Desserts.
Upon their appointment, the liquidators at RSM worked to keep as many stores as open as possible and consulted with around 180 retail staff.
As part of the turnaround plan, the liquidators closed Thomas Auld & Sons in September but staff in eight stores and the HQ admin and distribution team were offered new jobs at a new retail business, which enabled the eight bakeries to continue training.
Although the remaining stores in the group had been closed, the turnaround plan saved 75 jobs.
Since their appointment RSM has instructed CAPA to undertake a property audit on 27 properties across the Thomas Auld & Sons business.
CAPA’s expert team will now undertake a forensic audit of historic property accounts at the retail chain. The team will inspect the data and seek to identify any overspend or error in elements such as utility bills. They will ensure all other liabilities, transitional relief and exemptions have been calculated correctly.
If any errors or anomalies are discovered, the auditors will recover the cash to boost the returns for creditors.