Mystery surrounds reasons for insolvent firm



The 'complex chain of events' prior to company's insolvency

Associates of ICSM Credit flagged up issues with the printing firm Nicholson & Bass several months ago before the outfit slid into administration in October.

With administrators Tom Keenan and Scott Keenan of Keenan CF going through the books it appears some serious questions have been raised including nearly £200,000 of unpaid invoices from trade debtors. And why shareholders’ funds reduced from £1.72m to £857.

Writing in the online version of the trade magazine Print Week Jo Francis said the administrators had been unable to provide a statement of affairs, or a creditors’ list for the defunct company. This was due to the ‘non-cooperation of the current and previous director,’ in what she said was a ‘highly unusual situation.’

The journalist wrote: “Tom Keenan and Scott Murray of Keenan CF were appointed as joint administrators of Belfast-based Nicholson & Bass (N&B) on 11 October. They were put in place by floating charge holder Upstream Working Capital, which provided an invoice discounting facility secured by the firm’s book debts.

“A complex chain of events prior to the administration saw the trade and certain assets of N&B transferred to Bradley Group (UK), a related company, during August. Also in August, John McGrath acquired 100% of the share capital of N&B.

“The directors of Bradley Group (UK) at the time were Stephen Bradley MBE and Peter Bradley. However, Peter Bradley resigned as a director of the company on 31 October, and his job title is now ‘print specialist’.

“According to the administrators’ report, although the trade debtors listing for N&B provided by Upstream Working Capital showed an outstanding book value of £269,013 as of 5 September 2019, just £939.27 has been received.”

Jo Francis said Print Week had tried to contact Peter Bradley and the administrators have so far been unsuccessful in getting answers from McGrath and Bradley.

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