Routiers Ltd owed close to £3m when it went under

18 January 2007 by
Routiers Ltd owed close to £3m when it went under

Guidebook publisher Routiers Ltd was nearly £3m in debt when it collapsed last year, according to insolvency practitioners Harris Lipman.

The firm, which is handling the voluntary winding-up of the company, has calculated that Routiers is £2.92m in the red.

The guidebook publisher owes more than £186,000 to individual creditors, £82,000 to Barclays Bank, £506,329 for a director's loan and more than £62,000 to HM Revenue & Customs in unpaid tax and national insurance contributions. It also owed £1.87m to UK holding company Les Routiers Plc.

The liquidators report reveals it was sole remaining company director David Curry's intention to raise sufficient finance to get the 2007 guide published last autumn to make the business more attractive to buyers.

Although meetings were held last summer with new owner IPA, CSMA, Signpost Guides and Tomorrow's Guides, none were keen on taking on the company's debts.

Curry blamed the guide's woes on the increased use of the internet by hospitality operators to market their businesses, which had had a detrimental effect on the paper-based book and on membership.

The guide's new owners, purchasing consortium IPA, plans to beef up its web and marketing presence. It secured the rights from the French brand owners to the current guidebook as well as the company's database of members last Friday (12 January) for £10,000.

Ian Gauld, managing director of IPA Purchasing, said: "It's early on, but we would like to grow membership from its current level of 400 to maybe 1,000."

New direction: new owner IPA has finally got the 2007 guide into bookshops

Top five creditors

1) Credal Inter-Management, Malta-based legal consultants, £31,580.60

2) London Print and Design, guide's printers, £29,980.80

3) SEJT, owner of Les Routiers France, £23,557.69

4) The National Magazine Company, publisher of Cosmopolitan and Good Housekeeping, £17,625

5) Grapevine Marketing, private hotel marketing agency based in Battersea, London, £10,973.66

New Les Routiers owners reveal plans for guidebook >>

Les Routiers eating-out guide saved in the UK >>

Les Routiers forced into liquidation >>

Is this the end for Les Routiers in Britain? >>

By Chris Druce

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