The administrators of a vape retailer have instructed CAPA to conduct audits on 10 regional sites operated by the business, after a long tail-end of the pandemic’s effects hit its turnover for two years.

Leonard Curtis Business Rescue and Recovery, the corporate restructuring firm, appointed CAPA to undertake rates audits on Fast Fuse Ltd, which traded as Barracuda Vape, to help generate returns to creditors after the retailer entered insolvency.

With e-cigarette stores operating on various high streets in Wales and across the south west of England, the business had been severely affected by the pandemic and continued restrictions during lockdown.

Turnover dropped substantially, leaving only two of its stores trading profitably earlier this year, while debts increased to creditors and HMRC in particular. During this time the company struggled to raise finance to continue trading.

Ultimately, Andrew Poxon and Mike Dillon of Leonard Curtis were appointed administrators in May this year, but they were able to immediately sell the company and some of its assets, by way of a pre-pack administration. The sale was made to an unconnected party and enabled the company to continue operating.

Following completion of the sale, Leonard Curtis has looked to bolster returns to creditors by appointing CAPA on the audit instruction.

This will see CAPA’s Audit team undertake a forensic analysis of business rates outgoings through the outlets, using bespoke software to interrogate data on expenditure to the local authorities.

The team will inspect the information to discover any errors and anomalies, before recovering any overpaid sums for the creditors on a no-win, no-fee basis.