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Fri 15th Mar 2013 - Breaking News - Antic sites were acquired for £1.2 million
Administrator - Gregarious paid £1.2m for 12 Antic leasehold sites: Gregarious, the new company headed by former Antic company secretary Max Alderman and backed by fund manager Downing, paid £1.2m to buy 12 of 14 leasehold Antic sites out of administration, a report by administrator Chantrey Velllacott filed today reveals. Of this, £900,00 was paid on completion of the deal on 16 February, with the remaining £300,000 payable six months later.  The bid by Gregarious was the highest of 21 received to buy assets in different permutations from 14 companies. There were 63 expressions of interest and 57 information packs sent out.  Antic Limited owes unsecured creditors a total of £2.7m and a Company Voluntary Agreement was considered which would have meant creditors received between 10p and 15p in the pound.  However, a number of landlords said expressly that they would not support a CVA. Chantrey Vellacott reported that Antic had been forced on several occasions to face winding up petitions in relation to unpaid VAT and PAYE. The company’s problems had arisen because of expansion from cashflow – it had an overdraft facility of £100,000 and a loan from Barclays Bank of £80,000. The company had “anticipated that Barclays would fund the company’s acquisition of additional sites by providing a further £300,000 to £400,000 by way of secured loans’. However, “acute restrictions on borrowing at the time meant that the offer of funding was withdrawn”. The administrator stated: “The company’s strategy was to become less reliant on bank debt by increasing the size of its portfolio and strengthening its position.” It added:  “As a result of the above, the company has faced difficulties in paying its liabilities to HMRC. There have been four petitions presented against the company in the last three years. On each occasion, third party funding, often by means of a director’s loan or loan from a connected company, would be obtained to pay the debt in full. However, this would cause the company immediate cash flow restrictions which impacted upon the ability of the company to pay the most recently accruing tax liabilities.” On 12 September 2012, HMRC presented a winding up petition for crown debts of £938,934 which related to three quarters of VAT returns and PAYE contributions.” Director Anthony Thomas arranged to pay £225,571 and attempted to agree a payment plan, which was not agreed – and on 18 December 2012 Antic contacted Chantrey Vellacott, which advised that the firm was insolvent. Post administration, director Anthony Thomas advised the administrator that he was prepared to inject £400,000 for an initial distribution to creditors – it was then that it became clear creditors would not support the CVA.  
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