CVAs on the Rise as High Street Brands Battle for Survival

It seems that no news is good news when it comes to tales of insolvency and corporate debt across the UK economy at the moment. Maternity and baby specialist Mothercare is the latest name to join the swelling ranks of high street retail chains teetering on the brink of collapse.

Mothercare has announced plans to close a third of its stores - a total of 50 outlets - as part of a proposed Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) to offset losses of £72.8m in the last financial year. If approved by creditors, the move is expected to see up to 800 jobs cut.

‘Mouths Stuffed With Gold’: But What Does the Future Hold for Public Sector Outsourcing?

The Parliamentary report into the collapse of disgraced outsourcing giant Carillion has certainly pulled no punches.

Amongst the tastiest soundbites, MPs have accused bosses of ‘stuffing their mouths with gold’ while the company’s finances floundered, summing up their behaviour as ‘recklessness, hubris and greed’.

Small Businesses Demand Law to Stop Late Payments

Small business owners want the UK government to outlaw late payments as new figures reveal that half of SMEs face financial stress due to not being paid on time.

In a new survey carried out by YouGov and reported by The Sunday Times, 61 per cent of small business owners strongly support the suggestion that the government should legislate to force companies to pay suppliers on time.

The idea put forward in the survey was to create a mandatory 45-day payment term for all invoices. Not only would such a move strengthen the hand of small suppliers and contractors when payments become late, it would also curb the practice of big businesses imposing punitive conditions, such as the notorious 120-day terms collapsed outsourcing giant Carillion insisted on.

Just 11 per cent of firms with fewer than 250 employees are opposed to the idea of legislation.

Beaufort Collapse Reveals Stockbroking Ain’t No Oil Painting

It sounds like something out of a Hollywood gangster film - a $50 million fraud, an attempt to launder the proceeds by buying a Picasso painting, and an undercover FBI agent who foiled it all.It sounds like something out of a Hollywood gangster film - a $50 million fraud, an attempt to launder the proceeds by buying a Picasso painting, and an undercover FBI agent who foiled it all.

But no, this is a real-life story. In place of gangsters, you can substitute stockbrokers whose crime was illegally fiddling share prices in a worldwide scam. After being caught red-handed, their actions led to the collapse of the firm they worked for, London-based Beaufort Securities, which was declared insolvent by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in March.

UK Government Consults on Insolvency Protections for Suppliers

Contractors and SME suppliers in the UK could finally be in line for legal protection from losses in the event of a client collapsing.

In the wake of several high-profile insolvency cases such as that of Carillion, which raised fears that suppliers could be left billions out of pocket in unpaid invoices, the government has launched a review of corporate governance regulations for companies entering insolvency.

Palmer & Harvey in administration after debt burden bites

Wholesaler Palmer & Harvey has entered administration after failing to restructure significant debts owed to suppliers. The Palmer & Harvey Group, the UK’s fifth-largest privately owned business and the country’s largest tobacco supplier, had been in takeover talks with Carlyle, the private equity firm.

But after talks broke down, directors from several Palmer & Harvey group companies made an application to London’s High Court to enter administration to help ease an increasingly unmanageable debt burden.

Toys R Us to Seek CVA with UK Store Closures Announced

Fears over the future of embattled toy retailer Toys R Us continue to mount after its UK business announced it was to seek a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) to handle a mounting debt crisis.

The company, which is thought to have made a trading loss for seven out of the past eight years, has announced plans to close a minimum of 26 stores in the UK, with a loss of 800 jobs.

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