We spoke too soon in September! October has been a manic month and there are no signs of things slowing down. On top of progressing and wrapping up the cases that came in over the summer and last month, we have been inundated with new instructions. As well as the usual insolvency cases, we are seeing a lot of referrals from companies looking for assistance with valuations and sales of their businesses.
October has included a giftshop, dental practice, restaurants, a hotel, a cycle sales business, manufacturers, a business development consultancy, courier firm, pet product retailer and an estate and lettings agency. The only key sector trend we are still seeing is hospitality, but the common factor in the instructions we are seeing is the rising costs of running a business are making profitable businesses suddenly unviable. These cases also included intellectual property and both freehold and leasehold property valuations. We are still seeing a lot of cases where the businesses were already in financial distress prior to the pandemic and have been kept afloat by government measurements and breathing space from creditors.
You may have seen our emails regarding a series of closing down sale at Lowaters Nursery in Warsash. We held our final sales this week and are now looking to sell the residual stock as a bulk parcel. We also will have the machinery and equipment for sale so keep an eye out in the coming days. It has been a very interesting exercise to run and we have been very surprised by the demand from the public. It was touch and go as to whether to accept an early bulk offer or continue to run the sales, but the latter has proven to be the right decision in terms of maximising realisations to creditors.
We have also just completed the sale of a parcel of intellectual property and a patent portfolio owned by a UK technology company to a corporation in the US! This case has been running for a number of months and the last few weeks have involved a lot of transatlantic Teams meetings for Liv, the Joint Liquidators, buyers and both legal teams. There were a fair few issues due to the differences in legal language between our two nations, but we are very pleased that we were able to complete last week. There are a few hurdles to jump through in terms of providing everything required for the transfer of patents, but it has been a great case to work on. Liv has learned a lot about the sale and transfer of patents in different jurisdictions and the requirements of different authorities.
The coming weeks and months are certain to be interesting times for our sector, as businesses struggle to deal with the fallout from the pandemic and now the tumultuous UK economy and rising energy prices. The economy feels like a powder keg at the moment and we are expecting the rising interest rates and energy bills to result in further insolvencies as we approach the end of 2022 and going into 2023.
We are enjoying catching up with our clients at an increase of networking events, paramount to strategic growth and partnerships. We are looking forward to catching up with you all at the R3 Annual Dinner, of which Liv has helped organise as a member of the sub-committee. It’s the first ball since 2019 so we are very much looking forward to getting the region together again!
As always, please do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of assistance with any matters. We are always happy to take a look at assets for you and let you know if they are worth dealing with. The impact of Covid-19, energy price increases and interest rate rises on many disposal processes have heightened the thresholds of what is cost effective to deal with and not.
We hope you all keep safe and well, and have a busy and prosperous rest of 2022!
Liv and the Team at Proudley Associates