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Thu 15th Nov 2012 - Breaking News
WaverleyTBS had two potential bidders who both backed away over TUPE liability: Wholesaler WaverleyTBS had two potential bidders after administrator Deloitte was called in - one offer for the whole of the business and one for substantially all of it were received, a report filed at Companies House today states. However, both parties eventually withdrew from the bidding process after citing potential TUPE liability. Deloitte reports that WaverleyTBS lost £2.5m in the eight months to the end of August this year, including a restructuring exceptional cost of £1,275,000. Turnover was £195.4m, which is approximately in line with the full year turnover of £309.4m the year before. Administrator Grant Thornton said: “The company had for some time been under financial pressure as a result of reducing discretionary spending in the UK leisure market which has caused a decline in both sales volumes and profit margins. Commencing in 2010, it undertook a restructuring of its business to reduce costs including the closure of a number of sites. However it incurred losses of £2.5m (after exceptional items) in the eight moths to August 2012. Further losses were incurred in September 2012 and these losses were expected to continue in the short term. At the same time, a number of key suppliers reduced credit terms leading to working capital problems. The company was in negotiations with a number of key stakeholders and suppliers in an attempt to refinance the business. McQueen was instructed by the company’s shareholders to market the business for sale and was in discussion with a number of interested parties. However, the company could not reschedule existing liabilities and raise the required additional funds to continue to trade to enable the sales process to be completed. Given the instability around the business it was deemed further delays would pose additional risk to creditor realisations and therefore appointed administrators.” A total of 19 parties were issued with Information Memorandum by the administrator before the two bidders emerged. The administrator saw £4.5m of turnover during the period of six days it was traded and is thought to have broken even for this period. As of 5 November, 49 employees were left at WaverleyTBS helping to wind it down. The administrator has received 143 claims for return of stock. On 7 November, Tennent Caledonian bought the company’s Intellectual Property Rights for £1,050,000. Deloitte has so far recovered £7m out of the £26.5m the company is owed – with £15m the sum thought recoverable. Waverley held stock worth £13m and £3m was sold during the administrator’s trading period – the rest will be returned to suppliers. The company bank accounts held funds of £104,000 on the date of the administrator’s appointment. Unsecured creditors are owed £64.5m with trade creditors owed a combined £40.5m with an outstanding VAT bill of £4.7m and duty bill of £6.1m. Deloitte said it is possible that some sort of dividend will be payable because enough money will be raised to pay secured and preferential creditors although it was not possible to say how much this would be. Booker has reported that it expects to pick up as much a £60m of WaverleyTBS’s turnover in the wake of its being wound up.

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