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The Caterer

Les Routiers forced into liquidation

09 November 2006
Les Routiers forced into liquidation

Guidebook publisher Les Routiers, whose latest edition of Les Routiers in Britain was due to hit bookshops last month, has been forced into liquidation by one of its creditors, Caterer can reveal.

Last month we reported that the company's owners had fallen out of contact with their business partners (Caterer, 19 October, page 7]( It has now emerged that it has been put into liquidation after an unnamed creditor raised a court petition to appoint an administrator to recover cash owed.

However, provisional liquidator KPMG, which was appointed in Scotland on 17 October, has since applied to be discharged from its duties, casting doubt on whether creditors will get their money back at all.

The latest news will be of little comfort to the operators which have paid their annual membership fees and expected to appear in this autumn's guide.

Peter Thompson, proprietor of Llwyndu Farmhouse hotel in Llanaber, Gwynedd, paid £470 on 21 June, but last had contact with the company via e-mail in July.

Johnny Johnston's Blenheim Inns, which owns the Butchers Arms in Painswick, Gloucestershire, paid £1,900 in March for membership for three of its properties but has not heard from Les Routiers in recent months.

Edmund Inkin, co-owner of the Felin Fach Griffin Inn in Brecon, Powys, has not had contact with Les Routiers since it visited his company's new property, the Gurnard's Head in Zennor, Cornwall, in June.

"I'm sad to see it go if it has, as there are not that many books of this style around. Many guides these days are identikit box-tickers, so it's frustrating to see something that was so enthusiastically run disappear," he said.

Neither Les Routiers director David Curry, nor anyone at its London office, returned calls made by Caterer. The company's website has been offline since last month.

Les Routiers France and Ireland are unaffected.

Is it the end for Les Routiers in Britain?

On 18 October 2005, the business's own accountants, A9 Partnership, applied for a writ at Linlithgow Sheriff Court in connection with monies it was owed.

Both Les Routiers PLC, registered in Broxburn, West Lothian, and Routiers Ltd, the company's trading arm, have their accounts listed as overdue at Companies House.

Routiers Limited, registered at 188-190 Earls Court Road in London, is listed as active but with a proposal to strike it off.

By Chris Druce

E-mail your comments to [Chris Druce]( Routiers forced into liquidation) here.

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