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Tom Akiens into Liquidation


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So i see that Tom Aikens has gone into liquidation, and still trading, bought out by friends, business people, what ever you want to call them, no real change in the restaurant and who normally loses out, all the suppliers?

Does anybody know anymore about this, i ve seen it so many times like when Burton Race did it at the Landmark, his suppliers lost out he went to France for a year got paid, came back and opened a new restaurant

I m sure Tom did not want this, but it irriatates me how people can just re open there business with a different name

i love Toms food its a real shame, but there must be something seriously wrong with the prices he charges, when he always use to be full lunch and dinner, has the credit crunch got him?

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Its probably a multitude of things that has sent TA to the wall. I have to say the times I've meet him, his attitude stinks, a bloke with a definate opinion of himself, which I would of though would'nt help. I can't recall the law to businesses buying stock from creditors, when they know they are not in a position to pay. If anything, its a total lack of respect. Suppliers will know not to touch the likes of TA with a barge pole in the future. Could end up like another certain UK michelin starred chef who has to pay all supplies, COD.

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TA holdco i think, who could be behind that?  :laugh:

The previous company was called T&L Co Ltd (Tom & Laura) so I guess the new company is now Tom and Amber or just plan Tom Aitkins, my guess is Tom & Amber

My understanding of these situations is, and I am not a legal eagle; it is illegal for a company to trade when it knows it is insolvent, directors loss their Limited liability in those situations and creditors can go after the people behind the failed company.

From what I have read in the papers, Tom signed cheques that were running late and post dated knowing there would be no funds to pay. So he is a possible target for creditors, if he has any assets.

Tom was not on his own, he had other directors, surely they most also he to blame too. I believe that the company chairman, Mr. Hawksley, not sure of the spelling, but available at companies house, is a fully qualified accountant and an ex Pricewaterhouse partner. If someone dug they might find that he has had other companies go bust. The point is, as an accountant he is a professional.

Creditors need to get together, safety in numbers and press for damages against the directors. The problem is that suppliers don’t like to throw good money after bad and there is no guarantee of the outcome.

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I guess a lot of what happens next depends very much on the outcome of the creditors meeting that is due to happen in the next week or so. Will keep all posted!

If a man makes a statement and a woman is not around to witness it, is he still wrong?

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I believe that the company chairman, Mr. Hawksley, not sure of the spelling, but available at companies house, is a fully qualified accountant and an ex Pricewaterhouse partner. If someone dug they might find that he has had other companies go bust.  The point is, as an accountant he is a professional.

Careful. I can only guess you mean the PWC partner John Hawksley, who has spent most of his post-dismal working life on charity committees and state quangos for industry and education (Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre, The Academy of Youth, The Coal Authority, Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry, that kind of thing). As far as I know, his only involvement in a failed venture was Amelca, a grandiose dairy farmer co-operative scheme set up following the 2001 foot-and-mouth crisis. It went bust inside three months after the bank withdrew credit.

I have no idea what part Mr Hawksley plays in the Aikens business, if any.

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I believe that the company chairman, Mr. Hawksley, not sure of the spelling, but available at companies house, is a fully qualified accountant and an ex Pricewaterhouse partner. If someone dug they might find that he has had other companies go bust.  The point is, as an accountant he is a professional.

Careful. I can only guess you mean the PWC partner John Hawksley, who has spent most of his post-dismal working life on charity committees and state quangos for industry and education (Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre, The Academy of Youth, The Coal Authority, Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry, that kind of thing). As far as I know, his only involvement in a failed venture was Amelca, a grandiose dairy farmer co-operative scheme set up following the 2001 foot-and-mouth crisis. It went bust inside three months after the bank withdrew credit.

I have no idea what part Mr Hawksley plays in the Aikens business, if any.

To make sure the auditors play ball?... :hmmm:

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While we're here, it's worth noting that the company's not in "liquidation" or bankrupt. Neither would it appear to be a phoenix corporation (which is actually quite difficult to arrange, particularly when your name is above the door). The company was put into administration then immediately bought out by the management team with cash from telecoms £260millonaire Peter Dubens.

Speaking generally: an independent administrator gets appointed post a sale to determine whether an appropriate sale price was achieved, and that no assets were transferred out before administration was called.

If a business fails either of those tests the law will get involved. If it doesn't, the administrator would look at ways for the business to pay the debts.

This bloodletting by suppliers is understandable, but not particularly helpful. It's unfortunate that creditors are likely to end up on the wrong end of a CVA and get, say, 50p for every £1 owed. But they need to remember the alternative is that there was no rescue investment and the business collapsed, leaving them with 0p for every £1 owed.

In months to come, once scenario two becomes a daily occurence, you'll be welcoming scenario one like sunshine.

Edited by naebody (log)
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I've always coveted those Hering plates Akiens used.

Must keep an eyeout for them on Ebay.

“Do you not find that bacon, sausage, egg, chips, black pudding, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, fried bread and a cup of tea; is a meal in itself really?” Hovis Presley.

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I'm no expert on legal and business matters and for all I know, there's a (perhaps dubious) rationale for calling in administrators as TA has done. But as everyone is noting, this hits the suppliers while he carries on debt-free (for now)...

It's a small gesture, of course, but perhaps we should avoid his 'new' restaurant? It won't make much of a difference, but it does signal our disapproval (for those of us who are unimpressed by this tactic).

And, scurrilously, it might also be interesting if Michelin were to withold their 2009 award (as a 'new' restaurant needs to prove itself over the years - or so they argue when it suits them). I'm sure they won't take such a contentious position... but football clubs are docked points when they dodge their debts via administration, so why should high-end restaurants retain their stars when they've stiffed small suppliers thus? And as these are the gongs they seem to crave, losing a star might make some chefs try a little harder to avoid administration...?

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Interesting point. I don't think for one minute Michelin will make the slightest bit of difference either way. As most of us know, Michelin are a complete law to themselves, which makes them such a talking point. I can think of several places that have been awarded stars within six months of opening and god knows how many places that are still waiting after years. I wouldn't be at all suprised if TA was to have two stars in the forhcoming guide, let alone a deletion!! I believe the guide will have gone to publication now, so we'll see!

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The more I read and hear, the less I think TA difficulties are to do with the 'credit crunch' Theres obviously been some serious goings on in the TA camp, which has lead in part to its current situation. In my humble opinion,the departure of his first wife was a major blow to the feel of the restaurant. She gave it a sense of realism, which the place now lacks.

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I completed a 'Have Your Say' comment updating the srticle's reference to recent changes in Aiken's businesses.

I reported the change of ownership, via administration, which has left suppliers to the previous business with unpaid bills. I.e. simply repeating information that has been carried by other newspapers recently.

Needless to say my comment has not been posted on Sunday Times online.

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interesting article from the telegraph. it seems quite clear that this is a case of debt-fuelled expansion which went very wrong at a time when credit is very hard to come by.

thank god we haven't supplied any of his restaurants - it is horrible to lose out like that.

Edited by CheGuevara (log)
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  • 2 months later...

anyone know whats going on with aaya? Apparently they closed for a "kitchen refurb" mid december and were due to reopen last week but no sign of opening just yet.....

"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

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