Latest company collapses: Virgin Australia, Le Pain Quotidian and Debenhams Ireland (but Norton Motorcycles have been rescued)

ICSM Credit offers a lifeline for businesses with an offer of free legal letters to chase down outstanding invoices to help with cash flow

When Richard Branson pleaded with the British Government this week for a £500m loan to bail out Virgin Atlantic he was roundly slammed as a millionaire pleading poverty.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of his case, it shows how the coronavirus crisis can bring down even the most high profile successful companies. Let alone the one man printing outfit or the self-employed taxi driver. Virgin Atlantic could follow the likes of Flybe and Virgin Australia into administration while Norwegian Air is on the brink after four subsidiaries filed for bankruptcy this weekend.

Ian Carrotte of ICSM Credit said the numbers of firms going to the wall were at levels he hadn’t seen in 40 years in business. He said: “Everyone has heard of the Carluccio’s and Laura Ashleys of this world but there are scores of lesser known printers, sign-makers, pubs, hotels and retailers going bust every day. The Government’s rescue packages have benefitted some but the feedback ICSM Credit gets is there’s a large number of SMEs who fail to qualify for loans on ‘viability’ grounds. It is physically impossible to carry out the amount of rescues that Rishi Sunak has promised in such a short time. In the meantime it’s every man for himself.”

Virgin Australia has gone bust this week while the Belgium café chain Le Pain Quotidian with dozens of outlets in the UK has called in the administrators. Debenhams staggers from one crisis to another but the owners have liquidated the Irish branch of the department store while closing more outlets in England.

Today's page of Companies House shows yet more firms in administration

“Every one of these companies,” said Ian Carrotte, “owe huge amounts of cash to their suppliers. We’ve seen from the likes of Jamie Oliver’s Italian the list of creditors is long. From the window cleaner to the paper merchant, there are thousands of businesses left with unpaid invoices due to firms finding it simpler to enter administration. Yes it is good that some manage to trade their way out of administration or find a buyer like Norton Motorcycles have but these are often a chance to dump the debts and phoenix.”

On just one day last week around 150 companies ceased trading or were wound up according to Companies House. Ian Carrotte said nobody can be immune to what is happening which is why firms that have outstanding unpaid invoices should contact ICSM Credit to get free help in tracking down their debtors and getting paid before it is too late.

Norton Motorcycles created by James Lansdowne Norton in Birmingham in 1898 has been bought out of administration for £16m cash by TVS Motor Company in India. Finally some good news to end on.

ICSM Credit

For details about ICSM Credit call 0844 854 1850 or visit the website or email Ian at on how to subscribe and to join the UK’s credit intelligence network to avoid bad debts and late payers. Follow ICSM Credit on FaceBook, Twitter and YouTube and Ian Carrotte on LinkedIn.

To keep up to date subscribe to the FREE ICSM Credit Newsletter to hear all the latest insolvency news and to see who has gone out of business click on the orange panel on the top left of the home page of the website or send an email to

For details for the work of the journalist Harry Mottram visit

Tel 0844 854 1850 ___ Fax 01454 327 355
Privacy Policy   © ICSM All Rights Reserved