Mash Events trade debts exceeded £347k, says latest liquidator report

The latest liquidator’s report on the demise of event organising company Mash Events – part of Mash Media Group, organisers of industry trade show Confex – shows that the business’s trade debts were £67k more than stated in the original statement of affairs.

In total, the liquidators have received claims from trade creditors in excess of £347k since the company was wound up in September 2017. This included a debt to Barclays Bank of £145k and was in addition to the debt owed to HM Revenue & Customs for which a claim of £255k has been made by HMRC.

The latest progress report was prepared by liquidators Opus Restructuring LLP and published on the Companies House website in December 2018.

It included details of 19 staff made redundant from Mash Events on 1 October 2018. However, this was incorrect because this would have been more than a year after the liquidation of the company. The report said: “The Company’s 19 employees were made redundant on 1 October 2018 and letters were issued by the Company informing them of this. However, as they were reemployed by MMG and the Transfer Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 took effect and no claims have been received and no claims are anticipated.”

When we contacted Mash Media about this report, Opus responded to correct its error, saying the staff were made redundant by Mash Events and rehired by Mash Media Group on October 1 2017, immediately following the liquidation.

Under the heading of ‘enquiries and investigations’ the report said: “This work was also carried out with the objective of making an initial assessment of whether there were any matters that may lead to any recoveries for the benefit of creditors. This would typically include any potential claims which may be brought against parties either connected to or who have past dealings with the Company.

“This initial assessment revealed matters that the Joint Liquidators considered merited further investigation and these investigations are still ongoing.”

Subsequent to its report and after we pointed out the error in it, liquidator Opus Restructuring sent us the following statement: “The Joint Liquidators can confirm that there has been no claim received by Barclays Bank PLC in the Liquidation due to the cross debenture with Mash Media Group Limited. As per Companies House for Mash Media Group Limited, you will note that the charge granted to Barclays Bank PLC was satisfied on 9 October 2018. Since issuing the report, which relates specifically for the period 2 October 2017 to 1 October 2018, the Joint Liquidators have been advised that, in relation to one of the claims received, the amount owed was transferred to Mash Media Group Limited and these payments are continuing. The Joint Liquidators have now received supporting documentation to evidence that payments of the liability are ongoing and will remove this creditor from our system once confirmation from the creditor is received. This will reduce the creditor position significantly.

“It is common that once a company enters into an insolvency process that the total claims received exceed that of the figure estimated in the Directors’ Statement of Affairs. If and when sufficient funds become available to enable a distribution to unsecured creditors, then a Liquidator will adjudicate on all claims and request supporting documentation to substantiate their claims. To date, the Joint Liquidators are not currently in a position to adjudicate upon any claims received or admit claims for the purposes of a dividend.

“The Joint Liquidators are required by legislation to carry out an initial review of the Company’s affairs in the period prior to appointment. Due to the confidential nature of the Joint Liquidators investigations I am unable to comment any further.”

The statement was issued by Joe Blundell, administrator at Opus Restructuring.

This year’s International Confex takes place on 26-27 February at Olympia London.

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