A dozen companies within the Liverpool based Know Group of hotels and restaurants have either been compulsory wound up or gone into voluntary liquidation over unpaid tax bills, reports Sandra Perry.
The 12 limited companies all came before the Insolvency and Companies Court in London, owing an undisclosed sum to HM Revenue & Customs. The directors of the companies are husband and wife Steven Hesketh (pictured) and Nicola Perry-Hesketh.
At a hearing in front of insolvency judge Sally Barber, six of the companies were compulsorily wound up. The court was told that the remaining half dozen had gone into creditors’ voluntary liquidation (CVL) and, as a result, the winding up petitions against them were dismissed with costs.
The companies which were compulsorily wound up were Know Hotels Wirral Ltd; Know LTN Ltd; Richmond Apart-Hotel Ltd; LTN Hatton Garden Ltd, Know Health Club Ltd and Know Eats Ltd.
Meanwhile, the businesses which went into CVL, were Know Hotels Chester Ltd, Know Hotels Holdings Ltd, LTN Bold Street Ltd, Know Hotels Liverpool Ltd, Know Restaurants Liverpool Ltd and Know Property Services Ltd.
A CVL is used if a company has cash flow difficulties and is being pursued by creditors. Going into CVL brings a halt to any legal action and can provide a lifeline for the business to continue trading under a different entity.
A spokesperson for the company said: “The Know Group previously operated a number of companies under management and lease agreements. The businesses underwent hugely challenging times in late 2018 – due to financial decisions around borrowings and a complex group VAT infrastructure being in place – which resulted in problems for directors and unfortunately resulted in numerous CVLs.
“We worked as hard as we could to prevent said CVLs, however we couldn’t agree a resolution. It has been a stressful but educational experience; independent hospitality businesses are sadly more vulnerable to situations such as these and we have learned a lot from the process.”
Last week the Know Group announced that it had been relaunched as Savvy Hotels, following the disposal of its non-core assets. It said it would now focus on the 96-bedroom Sleep Eat Love hostel and the 152-room Richmond aparthotel in Liverpool, as well as the 30-bedroom Townhouse in Chester.
Steven Hesketh, who grew up in Australia, was an Acorn Award winner in 2008 when he was general manager of the Ramada Newton Park in Burton Upon Trent, Staffordshire. He launched his own business in 2013.