Howard Hunt administrators make fresh report

Jo Francis
Thursday, June 30, 2022

Administrators at the Howard Hunt group of companies have updated on their progress with the complex administration.

Howard Hunt group of firms went bust three years ago
Howard Hunt group of firms went bust three years ago

Administrators from BDO were appointed at Howard Hunt (City), Graft Solutions, Celerity information Services, OR Multimedia and holding company Howard Hunt Mail in May 2019. 

Connected business and limited liability partnership Celerity Communications LLP (CCLLP) also went into administration a month later. 

In the latest progress report, for the six months to 21 May, administrators Martha Thompson and Francis Newton said that the amount paid to secured creditor Santander UK – owed £16.5m by the businesses – had risen to £8.02m. 

Regarding the CCLLP administration, BDO said that the members’ overdrawn current and capital accounts totalled around £1.38m, with legal firm Addleshaw Goddard assisting in reviewing and collecting the overdrawn accounts.

“This matter is ongoing and as such we are unable to disclose any further information at this stage,” the administrators noted.

Howard Hunt (City) was a member of CCLLP.

“We continue to seek legal advice as to whether the company [Howard Hunt (City)] may have a claim against the other members of CCLLP. Due to the ongoing nature of the investigations we are unable to disclose any further information at present,” they stated. 

The other members of CCLLP are former Howard Hunt chairman and co-founder Martin Pigott and former CEO Luke Pigott. 

The administrators are also continuing to review the affairs of CCLLP prior to the administration, “with a view to establishing if there are any beneficial actions which may be pursued for the benefit of creditors”.

“Our investigations in this regard are on-going and we shall obtain legal advice on the merits of bringing about claims before commencing any formal action,” Thompson and Newton stated. 

Previously, company records had shown outstanding directors’ loan accounts totalling circa £885k at Howard Hunt Mail, and £164k at Howard Hunt (City). The directors’ loan account at OR Multimedia was overdrawn by £17,000.

The administration of the £50m-plus turnover group has also revealed a complex web of intra-company loans with recovery likely to be minimal, if any. 

Howard Hunt (City) was owed more than £10.17m by other companies in the group, Howard Hunt Mail was owed £7.76m, OR Multimedia £2.9m, Celerity Information Services £2.32m, and Celerity Communications £147k.

BDO submitted its confidential statutory report on the conduct of the directors to the Secretary of State last year. 

Trade creditors were owed millions of pounds when the businesses went bust, and more than 200 employees lost their jobs. Howard Hunt had offered direct mail, data, and print management services. 

 

 

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