Liverpool news Signature Living parent company collapses owing £113million MetiNews.Com
MetiNews.Com - True scale of Lawrence Kenwright's property group revealed as administrators say they expect company to be dissolved
Breaking News ! The parent company of Liverpool hotel group Signature Living collapsed into administration owing £113m to creditors. Signature Living Hotel ltd is the parent company of the group's extended network of 60 hotels, residential developments and other ventures. It is the largest of six of the group's companies to fall into administration. Now a new report published by the appointed administrators has laid bare the scale of the problems at the company, who estimate that creditors are owed a total of £113,331,594. The report also reveals that Lawrence Kenwright recently created a new legal entity and transferred all Signature group shares to it - before being told to transfer them back by the administrators, which he did. Matthew Ingram and Michael Lennon, of Duff & Phelps, are joint administrators of the parent company, Signature Living Hotel, and two other group companies - including the Shankly Hotel company, which is also in administration. They believe that a going concern sale of the company is now unlikely as there are 'as there are 'insufficient funds and assets available to enable the company to be rescued.' Read More Related Articles You can get our best stories sent straight to your inbox with our newsletter Read More Related Articles The Liverpool Echo has a free app and here's how to download it The report adds: "Despite the Group's significant property interests, the level of secured and unsecured indebtedness to which the Company is directly and indirectly liable for significantly outweighs the initial expectations of the value of the Company's direct and indirect assets." The administrators anticipate that 'the Company will be dissolved once all outstanding matters of the administration have been dealt with.' Signature Living was founded by Lawrence Kenwright and his wife Katie. Lawrence Kenwright of Signature Living (Image: Liverpool Echo) The report states that with regard to the parent company, Katie Kenwright resigned as a director in December 2019. The ECHO has now been reporting for some time on the complaints from people who have invested in Signature schemes with the promise of significant returns - with many telling us they have not been paid back. The administration report states: ""Historically the company has been subject to various creditor enforcement actions for non-payment of amounts owed and demanded. These actions have previously been settled to the conclusion of the enforcement proceedings." Read More Related Articles Where it all went wrong for Lawrence Kenwright's Signature Living The administrators are currently working to untangle the complicated network of different companies within the Signature group as well as the relationships with investors, creditors and the companies.
. A further update will be provided in the next report to creditors." The coronavirus lockdown has undoubtedly impacted Signature Living, but its problems were well documented before the pandemic - with Kenwright putting his two most famous hotels - The Shankly and 30 James Street - up for sale in May last year. While the company at the time said this sale plan was to 'fund future investments', the administration report suggests it was done to try and provide funds to meet the company's various liabilities, including to the 'bedroom investors' who were owed cash.
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But the sales never happened and the joint administrators were appointed in April. The report reveals that during their investigations into the company, the administrators found that shares in both the parent company and all of the subsidiary companies had been transferred to a new legal entity that had been set up by the director, Lawrence Kenwright to form the new parent company of the wider Signature group. The report explains: "After discussions with the Director and following legal and tax advice, these transfers were reversed and the Company has resumed its role as the ultimate shareholder of the wider group." The first of the Signature Living groups to fall into administration was the Shankly Hotel, which collapsed on April 16, just weeks after the nationwide lockdown was announced.
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This has been followed by the individual companies covering hotels like 30 James Street in Liverpool, the Coal Exchange in Cardiff and Belfast's George Best Hotel as well as residential developments like 60 Old Hall Street in Liverpool. These assets are now being handled by a range of different administrators. In terms of creditors and investors and the money they are owed, the administrators believe their plans will provide a 'better result' that would be likely if the company was wound up. The report states: "The administration provides protection to the group's hotel and residential assets and a platform from which a realisation strategy can be implemented to maximise the value of the assets that may not have been available if it was wound up. "Administrators believe a distribution will be made to creditors of the company via the sale of certain freehold and leasehold interests." The ECHO has been unable to make contact with Signature Living or Lawrence Kenwright.
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