Travel Agency – Cruise Specialist
Testimonial from Jane Gibson, Director
After 38 years of trading as an independent travel agency my mother (who is now 90 years old) and I had to put our family business into voluntary liquidation. This coincided with the two year anniversary of the start of the Covid pandemic. Ultimately we could no longer sustain the losses born solely out of the Covid related cancelled cruises which were our niche market.
Linda and her colleagues at Northpoint Associates made a harrowing situation as painless as possible. They conducted the insolvency from start to finish with empathy and understanding. The process was much quicker than we had expected due to the speed, knowledge and efficiency of the team at Northpoint.
Of course we were unlucky to be part of an industry so hard hit by the pandemic but we were also very lucky to have been recommended Northpoint as the company to help us exit our long careers with a degree of dignity.
I would not wish our situation on anyone but if you do find yourself in this position then we would both highly recommend using the services of Northpoint.
Haulage / pallet distribution - Berwick upon Tweed and Cramlington
Testimonial from Brian Thompson, a Director
I started the business in 1979 as a haulier in the borders. The business grew to become a UK haulier from owned premises in Berwick and a pallet distribution site in Cramlington.
We built the business to 35 employees. Unfortunately, losses were made in 2013/2014 when we lost a valuable contract. By then I was in partial retirement with my son managing the business. I came back into the business but with cash problems and pressure from the factoring company, our accountant suggested that we meet Greg Whitehead.
All options were considered but it became apparent that the only prospect for the core business was to explore a sale. We had spoken to a couple of parties and Greg Whitehead took up this process as part of an expedited sale process.
There was lots of pressure and issues to overcome to keep a distressed transport business going while a sale was explored. However, between Greg, me and my son the business was kept alive and a going concern sale was negotiated to a joint venture set up by two Scottish hauliers. I retired but they did offer my son a job as Operations Manager.
This was a good outcome and I know that creditors have received some money back.
Electrical Contractors, Newcastle upon Tyne.
Testimonial from Pauline Scott, Director
My late husband Ken started the business in 1974. It was owner managed and operated in the commercial sector. We operated successfully until the combined impact of a recession and the sudden loss of Ken in 2011.
We battled on and I took a greater role. However, in late 2013 the Company had been under cashflow pressure and I had to personally pay the wages of 25 people. A creditor also threatened a winding up petition.
Around this time, we were introduced to Greg Whitehead through our Accountants. Together we went through all the options.
It was concluded that neither a business turnaround or sale was likely and if nothing was done a creditor winding up petition was likely. From Greg’s review it was also clear that if we tried to go on my own exposure through a personal guarantee would have increased.
Greg was appointed Administrator and this allowed the business to be wound down in an orderly and controlled manner. All creditors have received some money back.
Greg provided his advice and services in a professional but approachable manner throughout all my dealings with him.
Online and classroom training provider - Gateshead, Tyne & Wear
Testimonial from Rita Callender, Director
I incorporated the Academy as a centre of excellence for Environmental Training in 2006. The company developed e-learning and classroom training courses.
We had steady growth and serviced commercial clients but also turning to the public sector. Due to austerity, Government departments reduced contracts and the Academy looked to EU projects, which proved successful. A claim was submitted but no monies were forthcoming and this position continued with no explanation. Cashflow became critical and our Accountants suggested that we speak to Greg Whitehead.
At this time we were told that no monies could be paid until additional audit was completed which was being done against all companies in our sector, despite the usual audit being signed off.
Greg and I went through the history of my business and the current position in detail. It was clear that options were limited and I also came to the view that with on-going austerity and the problems in dealing with public sector providers, that the business model was no longer viable.
I decided to instruct Northpoint to do a creditors voluntary liquidation. The process was managed by Greg and his colleagues with a user friendly approach that made the whole affair easier to handle.
Testimonial from Kevin Marquis
SES CIC was founded in 1983 to support local enterprise and owned and operated the “Coop Centre” in Sunderland. These were enterprise workshops made up of former containers and rented out to social enterprises and small businesses.
At its peak SES employed 26 staff and was making a real social impact for the local community. However, a change of government and austerity saw the closure of regeneration programs that provided funding to SES.
We were referred to Greg Whitehead by our legal adviser, who was also a Trustee of SES. For several months Greg worked with us as we tried to seek further funding and support from various national and local government departments. We managed to keep going in that “crisis management” phase but ultimately Liquidation was unavoidable.
In both the months before Liquidation, and once Greg implemented the Liquidation process, he was a great help during a very difficult time.
CNC machining business.
Testimonial from Colin Warren, founder and former owner.
In this matter we assisted a former owner in buying back the business of his old company.
I formed Protek in 2004 as a CNC machining company.
The Company traded for 10 years as a successful family business until I sold it in 2014 for a seven figure sum and I entered semi-retirement abroad. In early 2016 I learnt that the company was in trouble and its holding company entered Administration in May 2016. Protek kept on trading whist a share sale process was investigated by Administrator of the holding company.
I was interested in looking at buying the business back. My accountant thought it would be useful if I engaged an experienced Insolvency Practitioner in an advisory role and I was directed to Greg at Northpoint. With Greg by my side I took my interest further and in the end Protek itself was also placed in Administration. I was successful in buying the assets out of administration. I was subsequently able to get the operation up and running again and the business is flourishing.
Greg worked with me during the whole process and was an invaluable source of advice on how these things work in practice. He also led key areas of the negotiation with Protek’s Administrator. It proved very useful to have such an Insolvency Practitioner batting for me, particularly given his own experience of acting as an Administrator in such matters.