Insolvency and Administration

Law Suit Launched Against Grant Thornton over Patisserie Valerie Audits

The Daily Telegraph and some other sources have reported that the liquidators of Patisserie Valerie (CAKE) have filed a claim in the High Court against Grant Thornton over the audits of Patisserie Valerie in the years before it went into administration. I reported previously that the accounts of Patisserie were a complete fiction – see Reference 1 below – with the assets of the firm overstated by more than £90 million. The liquidators are FRP Advisory and they have appointed lawyers Mischon de ...

Law Commission Review of Intermediated Securities

The Law Commission has published a “scoping paper” on Intermediated Securities (See Reference 1 below). This might sound a pretty dry technical subject but the subtitle of the report asks the important question – it covers “Who Owns Your Shares?” I have written about the problem of the growth in the use of nominee accounts as on-line platforms have replaced share certificates many times in the past. ShareSoc has a web page with voluminous information on this subject including reports written by ...

The New Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill

The Government has introduced the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill into Parliament. This is quite an important piece of legislation for share investors and for property investors. Insolvency practitioners will also be interested as it makes substantial changes to that area. It’s had very little media coverage though as the news channels are swamped by coronavirus news, debate over Dominic Cummings breaking the lock-down (or not depending on your point of view) and Brexit news. The Bill is being “fast tracked” through ...

Dividends Slashed, Investing for Income, NMC Health and Finablr

Many companies are announcing cancelled, reduced or postponed dividends – two of the latest were Shell (RDSB) and Sainsburys (SBRY). This will hit investors hard who rely on dividends for retirement income. But should they be doing so? Terry Smith of Fundsmith had an article published in the Financial Times today under the headline “Investors: never let a crisis go to waste” in which he attacks income funds. In particular he questions whether the Investment Association should allow funds with “income” in ...

Insolvency changes announced by Alok Sharma

The UK government has announced new insolvency measures to prevent businesses unable to meet debts due to the impact of coronavirus from being forced to file for bankruptcy. Alok...

Thomas Cook – The end of the road

We had quite a lot of enquiries about Thomas Cook and what actions shareholders might take. We have until now adopted a watching brief. We recently had a teleconference...

Slater Investments Warns on Pay, and Flybe Bail-Out

Slater Investments has issued a warning to companies of their “dissatisfaction with the framework of directors’ remuneration in most public companies”. Slater Investments run a number of funds managed...

De La Rue, Excessive Debt, Victoria and Link’s Debt Monitor

Link Asset Services have issued a note pointing out that De La Rue (DLAR) has net debt that now exceeds its market cap. The high debt in the company...

GB Group, Patisserie Holdings, FRC Stewardship Code and Halma

The stock market seems to be in limbo as business waits to see the outcome of Brexit politics. In my portfolio, small cap companies are drifting down and even...

Another Update on the SVS Special Administration

Since my last update, there have been several significant developments: Leonard Curtis have published a "Statement of Proposals", setting out their plans for returning client money and assets A creditors' meeting has been held and a creditors' committee has been appointed Scammers have been trying to defraud SVS clients Another firm, Reyker Securities, enters special administration   Avoid the Scams Sadly, in cases like this, scammers will often prey on the worries of clients of failed firms, suggesting that clients might lose all or ...