Solicitors acting for Nigel Smith have disputed he owes his in-administration pâtisserie company around £470,000, according to administrator's proposals filed with Companies House.
The statement of administrator's proposals for Cookeze, which traded as Patisserie by Nigel Smith, said John Woodward was owed around £3.6m, having loaned the company money to trade and develop its new catering facilities in Chorley, into which approximately £1.7m was invested.
The documents also said associated company E&N Consultancy, of which Smith is the only director and shareholder, owes Cookeze £321,000. Events by E&N, of which Smith owns 50% and his wife Emma owns the other half and is the sole director, has paid £36,000 of an estimated £71,000 owed.
Due to the financial position of the company, it was not able to pay staff wages and salaries for March, amounting to approximately £104,000; while creditors relating to the building work amounted to about £827,000.
Administrators also said it was unlikely the company could be rescued as a going concern due to the Covid-19 outbreak, with no funds immediately available to allow them to continue to run the business with little to no prospect of orders being placed in the near future.
A spokesperson for Begbies Traynor said: "We are continuing with the administration and we are in dialogue with people in the catering trade who are interested in acquiring the assets. There is, however, still time for other interested parties to come forward."
Dean Watson of the Manchester office of Begbies Traynor and Neil Dingley of Moore in Stoke were appointed joint administrators of the company on 24 March after it ceased trading. Seventy-two employees were made redundant.
At the time, Watson said the Covid-19 outbreak triggered an immediate cashflow challenge when the group saw its events cancelled, not long after having made a significant investment in the new facilities.
The firm, founded in 2010 by Smith, specialised in artisan pâtisserie. Its clients included Manchester United, Liverpool FC, Jockey Club, Brasserie Blanc and Malmaison hotels. Its turnover last year was £1.5m.
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