£5.5 million collected to recover lender’s position
Hilton-Baird Collection Services has successfully recovered the position of an asset based lender after their client entered administration, and is now supporting the insolvency practitioner with the remainder of the ledger.
Despite a number of issues which threatened its collectability, our collections experts have recovered more than £5.5 million to date – 122% of the funds in use – in doing so recovering the lender’s position much faster than they had hoped.
Now engaged by the insolvency practitioner to further maximise returns for creditors, the successful outcome was helped by the fact we were involved for a number of weeks prior to the company entering administration.
Understanding the ledger
The client supplied sandwiches to a number of high profile cafés, stores and supermarkets. They had been struggling financially even before the pandemic, and upon being placed into administration we were engaged to work alongside the insolvency practitioner and recover the asset based lender’s position.
Aided by our involvement prior to the administration, we were able to analyse the ledger, systems, contracts and invoicing to truly understand the order-to-collections system. This process involved working with the key staff from within the organisation, including the Credit Manager and IT teams, who were retained post-insolvency.
This is always a key part of any sales ledger recovery. By gaining their trust and building a productive rapport, information could flow and we could support each other throughout the process.
During our analysis we discovered a number of potential dilutions which meant the lender was potentially under-reserved. Crucially, our early involvement enabled us to take steps to mitigate some of them and ensure our team would retain access to systems that were fundamental to the recovery in an insolvency.
The main issues related to the accounts payable not being kept up to date by the company, with the lender unaware of additional rebates, accruals and high value accounts payable invoices – some of which were several months old – that were stored outside of the system. Some of these accounts were also subject to gentlemen’s agreements alongside standard contractual terms.
In addition, a contract review undertaken by a specialist legal counsel exposed potential loss of supply and sale and return issues. One of the debtors tried (unsuccessfully) to use the pandemic as Force Majeure, while others made a number of spurious offset claims.
However, our team’s collections expertise meant we were able to overturn many of the claims made from senior figures at large debtors – and achieve a positive outcome for all parties.
Open and regular dialogue
Throughout the process we maintained open and regular dialogue with the lender and insolvency practitioner, providing them with insight and ultimately comfort as to our positive progress.
After the lender’s position was cleared earlier than anticipated, the insolvency practitioner then instructed our team to continue using its expertise to recover the remainder of the ledger to maximise returns for creditors.
To discuss our range of services for asset based lenders and insolvency practitioners, from pre-insolvency contingency planning to sales ledger recoveries, contact our award-winning team on 023 8070 6981.