Insolvency Insider
The goal of the Insolvency Insider is to keep you current on all that is happening in the UK insolvency industry in one easy-to-read e-mail per week. If you like what you read, consider forwarding it to spread the word. Not getting our emails regularly? Click here to subscribe! 

  • The UK's major mobile network operators were on the receiving end of some condemning accusations in the High Court last week, as the administrators of defunct phone retailer Phones 4U seek to prove that those operators – EE, Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Vodafone and Telefónica – colluded to put the retailer out of business. Phones 4U alleges that the operators' decisions to stop supplying the retailer with handsets in 2014, far from being made individually, were part of a wider conspiracy. More from Light Reading.
  • Morrisons has committed a total of £190m to rescue convenience chain McColl’s. Administrator PwC revealed in a letter to creditors that the supermarket’s rescue package for its convenience and wholesale partner amounted to £182.1m, with a further sum of up to £8m to pay unsecured creditors. Administrators added that while the EG Group's offer was “materially higher” than that of Morrisons, the total dividend for unsecured creditors was estimated to be up to 50% higher under the supermarket’s proposal given Morrisons’ existing creditor balance. Counsel advising on the deal were Travers Smith for McColl's, Ashurst for Morrisons and Hogan Lovells for PwCMore from The Grocer
  • The English Football League (EFL) are reportedly planning an ‘overhaul’ to the administration system following Derby County’s situation this season. It is said that the EFL are now looking at a process that would see a shortlist of approved administrators presented to clubs to choose from, instead of the clubs having a free choice on who they appoint. It would have a big impact on any future clubs who enter administration. More from the Derby Telegraph.
  • Boris Becker is annoyed by some of the "fictitious" media coverage written about him since the former tennis star was jailed for offences related to his 2017 bankruptcy, his lawyer has said. The tennis star was jailed by Southwark Crown Court in London on April 29 for two and a half years after being found guilty of offences under the Insolvency Act. A German tabloid newspaper claims there have been several emergency calls from Becker's cell as he complained about suffering from claustrophobia and the food served. More from
  • Squire Patton Boggs is advising Chris Kirchner on the acquisition of Derby County Football Club out of administration. The club's joint administrators have exchanged contracts for the sale of the business and assets, with completion expected for on or before 31 May. Squire Patton Boggs stated that the contract was the most complex, high-stakes football transaction the firm has advised on, with the separation of the ownership of Pride Park from the club presenting one of a number of challenges in structuring the deal. More from Insider Media
  • Gourmet instant foods brand Mr Lee’s Pure Food has been placed into administration and ceased trading following the death of its founder last year. Administrators from Kroll are now seeking a buyer for the company and its assets. The company was launched by Damien Lee in 2016 as a healthy, gourmet offering within the £100 billion-per-year instant meals market. As well as the Mr Lee’s Noodles brand, which includes both rice noodle and ramen dishes, the company also has lines of instant porridge and congee. It was the first company in the UK to offer instant congee and also expanded into foodtech with a pilot launch of touch-screen noodle kiosks. In 2020, the business raised more than £1.6 million through crowdfunding to finance a launch in the US. More from Business Sale Report

  • 16 jobs have been saved at joinery company Mustang Joinery Limited following the appointment of Begbies Traynor as administrators. Based in Rotherham and founded in 1981, the company specialised in the manufacture of a range of bespoke window frames, staircases and door sets for local and national developers. Unfortunately, the business suffered a downturn in turnover with the impact of prolonged lockdowns and restrictions caused by COVID-19 over the last two years causing this to accelerate significantly. This resulted in a build-up of HMRC arrears which could no longer be serviced. After a period of accelerated marketing, a pre-packaged sale was completed. Gateley Legal provided advice to the administrators throughout the process. More from BDaily

  • Acacia Pharma shareholders have voted overwhelmingly to accept a $104m rescue deal by Eagle Pharmaceuticals, saving the company from the threat of insolvency. The deal was approved in the High Court as the holders of 52.91 per cent of the Scheme Shares voted to approve the scheme of arrangement under Part 26 of the Companies Act 2006. Scott Tarriff, President and CEO of Eagle Pharmaceuticals, led the rescue deal after Acacia said it had to find an estimated $115m extra cash just to break even by early FY2025. Despite the potential of its pipeline, the company said it had been hammered by Covid-triggered cancellations of surgery at hospitals – all potential Acacia customers. More from Business Weekly
  • The supply chain of Twenty1 Construction are nursing a £13m hit following the collapse of the Hertfordshire fit-out contractor in March. The £67m-turnover firm, which had 64 staff, appointed Grant Thornton as administrators after a decade of trading. In an update, Grant Thornton said the company ran into problems with the first wave of Covid-19 in spring 2020 as jobs were stopped before being felled by the emergence of the Omicron variant at the end of last year which blunted its recovery from loss of work caused by the initial pandemic. More from
  • Taxpayers could be hit with ­crippling losses if Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance goes under. Gupta's firm was handed £586m of government support to buy a Highland smelter in 2016, but the firm is now at the centre of a fraud investigation and could be liquidated if it loses a court battle with creditors. More from the Daily Record

  • Hard-pressed customers of collapsed rent-to-own firm BrightHouse look unlikely to recoup any cash. Administrators from Grant Thornton have reported that they are seeking permission to scrap an initial plan of distributing £600k to customers who believe they were mis-sold loans by the specialist lender, claiming that the cost associated with assessing the claims would far exceed the funds available for distribution. More from iNews
  • A rogue volume IVA provider has been wound-up, together with three connected companies. Vanguard traded from 2016 and used third-party suppliers to help administer the IVAs and realise debtors’ assets. By April 2020, Vanguard had more than 14,000 IVA cases under its management. Investigators found that between August 2018 and June 2020, Vanguard made payments to various third-party suppliers totalling almost £9m from their customers’ estates under the guise of expenses or disbursements. Some of the third parties under a fee sharing arrangement would then make payments to related parties. More from the Business Desk
  1. The dates for the IPA's 2022 roadshow have been released. First up is Glasgow on 25 May, followed by Northern Ireland on 9 June, Cardiff on 16 June, Manchester on 15 September, Birmingham on 22 September, Leeds on 29 September, and London on 19 October. Further details can be found HERE

  2. IWIRC London Network and Be Inspired are collaborating to host an in-person yoga session at Dentons on 25 May. Further details can be found HERE

  3. Global Restructuring Review is hosting a Women in Restructuring conference on 9 June 2022 in London, UK. Further details can be found HERE.
  4. R3 and the South West and Wales Regional Committee, are hosting a timely and valuable discussion about the National Security and Investment Act 2021 on the 14 June 2022 at the Grant Thornton offices in Bristol. Further details can be found HERE.
  5. The IPA is hosting its inaugural IPA Summer Party on 22nd June at the Buffini Chao Deck, a newly refurbished events venue situated on the roof of the iconic National Theatre, on the South Bank of the Thames. Further details can be found HERE.
  6. R3 has launched the first Contentious Insolvency and Creditors Forum, taking place on the 6th July in London. Further details can be found HERE.
  7. IWIRC London is 4 years old and will be hosting an anniversary party on 6 July 2022. Three awards (Excellence, Future Leader & Champion) will be presented on the night. Further details can be found HERE.
  8. TMA UK is hosting a party to celebrate its 21 year anniversary on 15 September in London. Further details can be found HERE.

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