Administrators who saved the jobs of more than half the workforce at an insolvent facilities management firm have instructed CAPA to audit sites the firm occupied.
As administrators of Clarendon Enterprise Centre, Leonard Curtis Business Rescue and Recovery managed to secure the future of the company through a sale to a connected party, via a pre-pack administration.
Leonard Curtis has since instructed CAPA to conduct rates audits on 13 offices the company traded from.
Clarendon had been profitable until 2020, turning a profit of more than £1.2m and a turnover of nearly £11.5m for 2019, but since the pandemic began several factors impacted the business.
CAPA has marked another year of supporting the turnaround, restructuring and insolvency profession with its headline sponsorship of the TRI Awards, which championed exceptional achievement across the industry last week.
As headline sponsor of the awards programme, which culminated in a gala dinner in London on December 9, CAPA supported an event that recognised outstanding achievements in the work of rescuing businesses during the pandemic.
Across 24 categories, some of which were presented by CAPA co-founder and director Tony Sweeney, the awards celebrated successes across corporate restructuring and turnaround teams, insolvency practitioners, funders, lawyers, barristers, government agencies and charities.
The TRI Awards also recognised long-standing contributions for the good of the profession.
This was made though The Sabin Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Industry, which went to Richard Long, who has been involved in the insolvency industry since 1972 when he joined Leonard Curtis & Co to train in insolvency.
He has also served on several committees for the Insolvency Practitioners Association, and led the organisation as president in 2003-4.
The full list of winners can be seen on the TRI Awards website.
CAPA is continuing to champion the outstanding achievements of corporate rescue professionals, by signing up as headline sponsor of the Turnaround, Restructuring and Insolvency (TRI) Awards for 2021.
CAPA is supporting the profession’s most prestigious awards programme, which celebrates the exceptional work and outcomes in the process of rescuing struggling businesses and saving jobs, as the economy recovers from the pandemic.
The TRI Awards marked a historic first last year in hosting a live, televisual awards ceremony in a London studio.
For 2021, as the awards programme reaches its 14th year, the TRI Awards will return as an in-person event, due to be held at the Hilton London Bankside on 9 December, capping a year in which business advisory firms have secured the futures for many businesses that have endured testing times.
The independent judging panel for the awards will again consist of corporate restructuring practitioners, lawyers, regulators, funders and other experts, all with decades of experience across the TRI space.
For more information, visit the TRI Awards website.
The administrators of a discount retailer who managed to sell the chain and its assets out of administration have appointed CAPA to help generate further returns to creditors.
Corporate restructuring and advisory firm FRP has instructed CAPA to conduct audits on JTF Wholesale, which trades as JTF Mega Discount, after the chain was sold to a new venture led by fellow discount retailer Bargain Buys.
After a challenging trading period for the business and a series of unsuccessful restructuring processes, the directors of JTF Wholesale were left with no choice but to cease trading.
The administrators of a renewable energy specialist that operated wind turbines around the UK have appointed CAPA to help recover funds for creditors – which include the firm’s bondholders.
Interpath Advisory, the corporate advisory and restructuring firm set up by former KPMG partners, has instructed CAPA to conduct audits on various sites operated by Edinburgh-based Future Renewables Eco (FRE), after the energy firm entered insolvency in September.
Future Renewables owned and operated 10 wind turbines across nine sites throughout England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The liquidators of a subsidiary company of Aspers UK Holdings, the casino chain chaired by entrepreneur and world-famous wildlife conservationist Damian Aspinall, have appointed CAPA to help them recover funds for the subsidiary’s creditors.
Opus Restructuring has instructed CAPA to conduct audits on 29 locations operated by Handy Cash Machines Ltd – whose parent company Aspers runs one of the country’s leading casino chains.
Aspers has set up super casinos in London and around the country during the past decade, running them as premier destinations.
Its Handy Cash Machines arm also operated sites across the country, but it had suffered financial problems even before the pandemic and subsequent lockdown forced national closures.
CAPA has been appointed to conduct audits on a 178-year-old Scottish hotel, famed for pioneering hydrotherapy treatments in the late 1800s, that has now fallen into administration.
FRP Advisory, which is managing the administration of the Glenburn Hotel, has instructed CAPA to undertake a rates audit of the hotel as the corporate restructuring firm looks for a new owner of the historic site.
FRP is looking for a purchaser to acquire a hotel that was built in 1843 on a hilltop site on the Isle of Bute, perched over the Firth of Clyde.
It was believed to be the first ever hotel in Scotland to offer hydropathic treatments when it opened in 1892.
The administrators of a construction firm that once had a major presence in the north west of England have appointed CAPA to audit sites the business traded from.
KPMG has instructed CAPA to conduct a rates audit on various sites previously occupied by Cruden Group, headquartered in greater Manchester, after the pandemic left the business unable to recover from a series of financial problems.
After their appointment as administrators KPMG announced that the coronavirus crisis had been the "last straw" for the Warrington company after it lost contracts and costs piled up.
Howard Smith and David Costley-Wood, formerly partners at KPMG who are now at Interpath Advisory, the corporate restructuring firm, were appointed joint administrators of Cruden Group Ltd, Cruden Construction Ltd and Cruden Property Services last year.
CAPA has seen a rise in recoveries from audits on companies that opted for a members voluntary liquidation (MVL), as well as firms in a creditors voluntary liquidation (CVL), during the past year.
When corporate restructuring firms are appointed as liquidators or administrators of insolvent businesses, CAPA’s Audit team assists them in recovering funds for creditors.
CAPA believes there are further opportunities to recover funds for creditors in cases where businesses have entered an MVL or a CVL, at a time where CVL numbers in particular remain comparatively high.
While administrations trend historically low due to prolonged government support, Insolvency Service figures show that of the corporate failures that are crystallising, the majority are CVLs.
The government agency’s Q1 figures show there were 2,384 company insolvencies between January and March. Of this total, 2,047 were CVLs.
Despite a tough environment for businesses trading through and out of a pandemic, recoveries for CAPA’s clients have continued to grow from the audits the team have undertaken on companies in either a CVL or MVL process.
The Audit team has had particular success during the past year across rates audits on firms in these liquidation processes, with the team recovering £160,000 for creditors – recoveries that might otherwise assumed to have been difficult or impossible.
Administrators and liquidators of high street restaurants and leisure operators have instructed CAPA to audit sites around the country, as extended Covid-19 restrictions continue to impact casual dining and leisure chains.
Despite the economy re-opening in various sectors in recent months, a number of restaurant chains, cafés, beauty salons and ice cream parlours have not been able to survive an extended period of low or zero trade, leaving administrators to appoint CAPA to maximise returns for creditors.
One of CAPA’s recent instructions was a rates audit on the La Casita: Little House of Tapas chain, now in liquidation, which operated Spanish tapas franchises across Yorkshire.
After the ongoing effects of closures during the pandemic, coupled with growing debts, Julian Pitts and Louise Longley of Begbies Traynor Group, the corporate insolvency and restructuring company, were appointed liquidators of the chain on 20 May.
They have instructed CAPA to conduct the rates audits on five restaurants the company operated, meaning CAPA’s Audit team will now use bespoke software for a forensic analysis of business rates costs paid across the sites.
The auditors will interrogate the data to uncover any anomalies or errors, before recovering any overpaid sums for La Casita’s creditors.
CAPA has recently been appointed on other casual dining operations, including Banh Mi City, the Vietnamese cuisine specialist that was initially expanding up until the pandemic took hold.
With locations in the city of London where footfall remained historically low, even after Covid restrictions were eased, Banh Mi City’s financial problems continued throughout the lockdown and beyond. In the end Alan Simon of AABRS, the insolvency specialist, was appointed liquidator on 25 May, and he has now appointed CAPA to conduct another rates audit.
CAPA will again inspect the data to identify overpayments and recover them for the creditors.
Among CAPA’s other recent appointments include an instruction on Scoop Fine Italian Gelato Ltd, which operated ice cream parlours around London.
The liquidators Jonathan Bass and Freddy Khalastchi of Menzies, the business advisory company, have asked CAPA to launch a rates audit on various prime sites the parlours traded from. CAPA’s forensic analysis of business rates will look to spot errors in overpayments and recover them for the business’s creditors.
In all the appointments, CAPA’s auditors will recover overpaid sums on a no-win, no-fee basis.