The liquidator of a premium Italian café chain – which served diners in prime London locations including one opposite Selfridges – has appointed CAPA to audit the sites.

David Rubin & Partners, which is winding down Caffe Fratelli Limited after the coffee and deli chain entered liquidation, has appointed CAPA to undertake property audits of five cafés across the business.

Although the company had been trading for 17 years from sites dotted around London’s busiest shopping areas, Caffe Fratelli had suffered substantial financial problems throughout 2017 and 2018, posting a loss of £2.9m for 2017.

By the time it entered insolvency in October 2018, when Stephen Katz of David Rubin & Partners was appointed liquidator, the business had racked up debts of £3.5m to creditors.

As David Rubin & Partners has now issued the property audit instruction, CAPA’s Audit team will use bespoke software to carry out a forensic analysis of utility bills, service charges and rates paid out at each location. The team will look to uncover multiple elements such as errors or anomalies in the costs, before recovering the sums for Caffe Fratelli’s creditors.

The case is one of several appointments CAPA has received from David Rubin & Partners in recent weeks. The business advisory and insolvency firm instructed CAPA to conduct similar property audits on other firms including Spa First Ltd, the luxury spa centre in Essex trading as Kukana Spa, which entered liquidation in December last year.

CAPA was also appointed by Stephen Katz on another café chain, Finch House Café and Bakery, the trading name of The Green Barn Farm Shop which had three outlets in Kent. The company entered liquidation in November 2018 after a slump in sales and rising costs.

CAPA is also auditing two properties at The Racing School, a company based at a race circuit in Wigan that offered driving experiences, including racing supercars such as the Lamborghini Huracan, the Ferrari 458 Italia and older Formula 1 cars. One of Europe’s oldest driving schools, the business had been operating for 38 years, but it collapsed into insolvency in 2017.

In all cases, CAPA will be recovering sums for creditors that would otherwise remain undiscovered.