On October 6th Ernst & Young issued a press release concerning their appointment as administrative receivers to Finelist PLC. On October 7th, the news was carried in The Independent and The Times. BikeBiz has been working on the story since the weekend but, er, a certain other business failure got in the way.
Better late than never, heres the first press release:
ERNST & YOUNG APPOINTED JOINT ADMINISTRATIVE RECEIVERS TO FINELIST PLC
London, 6 October 2000 – Alan Bloom, Andrew Wollaston and William Tacon of Ernst & Young were today appointed joint administrative receivers to Finelist plc and their trading subsidiaries, which includes Motorworld.
The company which has a turnover of £500 million, produces motor components and employs approximately 5,500 people in 600 locations in the UK.
Alan Bloom, Corporate Restructuring Partner, said:
"We have already received a number of expressions of interest for the business which we are trading as a going concern. We are very confident of finding a buyer for Finelist plc and we are currently looking at the most effective way of packaging it up for a sale."
BikeBiz today rang the press office of Ernst & Youngbut they could not add anything to the above statement. BikeBiz then rang a Motorworld outlet but they had already been briefed to say nothing and refer all press callers to the Ernst & Young press office.
As well as auto accessories, Motorworld and Charlie Browns sell Emmelle and Barracuda bikes from Moore Large.
Like Charlie Browns, Motorworld ramps up its bike offering in the run-up to Christmas. Their 250 stories are still trading, as are the 140 outlets of Charlie Browns.
Finelist went into administrative receivership after the discovery of financial irregularities, six months after it was taken private by a French consortium, Europe Auto Distributors, in a £304m buyout.
BNP, the French bank, who were among backers of the buyout, were involved in the Thursday night decision to seek administrative receivership.
Finelist is said to have debts in the region of £114m. Motorworld and Charlie Browns will likely be sold seperately to the rest of the group as they are Finelists only retail interests.
Moore Large has stopped supplying product to Motorworld and Charlie Browns. Moore Large sales director Gary Mathers told BikeBiz that Moore Large was saddened by Finelists predicament.
Its a bit disruptive, he said, adding, It helps focus the mind.