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Accountants & Business Advisers

Sectors

Our team works with a wide range of businesses across all different sectors but has developed a specialism in a number of sectors including Technology, E-commerce, Travel and Property. We are supported by a full service practice which can, for example, assist us with complex VAT and other tax matters and our wider Kreston network giving us international resource when necessary.

Technology & E-commerce

We have worked with many different technology businesses ranging from life sciences to e-commerce and Information technology.  Many are funded initially by the inventor but as the business matures there will often be external investment frequently with complex ownership structures and agreements.  These businesses will sometimes struggle after the initial investment to secure additional rounds of funding.  The reluctance to invest might be due to unproven efficacy of the technology, slower than anticipated development or pay-back periods, or a change in investment criteria for funders.  An inability to secure funding may lead to such businesses facing a procedure, be that solvent or insolvent. 

It is often vitally important for the stakeholders concerned, to preserve and protect the value of intellectual property that has been developed in the business. This will often involve a sale to either someone connected with the business or to a third party.  There can be added complications surrounding the ownership and licensing of intellectual property, this is frequently seen when technology has initially been developed in a university setting.   

Where intellectual property is subject to a patent or otherwise protected, it may be important to maintain those protections and understand whether there is an ongoing use for the technology either in its current application or whether could be used in an alternative scenario, and therefore what might be the best method to preserve the protections it has been afforded.  For intellectual property not currently afforded protection consideration needs to be given to the best method of preservation, protection and realisation of that asset.   

It is also important to recognise that alongside the technology will be the know-how and expertise of the people that have developed that technology and how often those individuals are vital to the smooth transition of ownership.

To deal with technology related businesses to achieve the best outcome for stakeholders businesses will need rely on insolvency practitioners with genuine expertise in this area.  If you would like to speak to one of our technology specialist please contact Sandra or Sue. Alternatively, one of our team for an initial discussion.

Property

We have recently worked in many different areas of the property sector including hotels, student accommodation and residential buy-to-let.

There has been significant impact in the hotels and student accommodation space due to the COVID pandemic as hotels remained either closed or running at significantly reduced occupancy rates and students changed to online learning.  This has had a significant impact on the cashflows of property related businesses and with other factors including staff shortages, supplier price increases and reduced business travel and tourism, the sector is under pressure.  A large number of these businesses have also taken government backed funding and so there is little room to manoeuvre in the cashflows. 

We have recently completed a sale of a 212 room hotel in Central London for £70m after a short trading period [Link to press release?] and are currently trading a 314 bed student accommodation in the North East whilst we seek a purchaser.  We have been appointed as Receivers of four flats in one South London building which are all let and for which we are seeking an investor to purchase these as a block.

We also have experience working alongside specialist operators and advising distressed property businesses and understand the nuances go with operating a property related business.  We work closely with our Tax and VAT teams to ensure the correct advice is provided and transactions complete smoothly.

In order to achieve the best outcomes for stakeholders in the property sector it is important to be able to rely on advisors with experience of how property businesses operate. If you would like to discuss any difficulties your business may be facing please contact Paul Davies or one of our team for an initial discussion.”

 

 

Travel

Businesses in the travel sector which are experiencing financial challenges often have to deal with a unique combination of factors such as pressures on cashflow as a result of seasonality, a range of employment and other regulations both in the UK and overseas, bonding requirements and dealing with suppliers in foreign jurisdictions.

Additionally, holidays can be an emotive subject and ensuring that customers are treated correctly and the protections afforded them via ATOL, bond schemes or via section 75 or chargeback are understood is an important factor in any decision making.

We have experience of advising many travel businesses ranging from specialist operators to mid-market providers.  We have recently assisted a number of tour operators who have faced financial difficulties as a result of the impact of the COVID pandemic.

In order to achieve the best outcomes for stakeholders in the travel sector it is important to be able to rely on advisors with experience of how travel businesses operate. If you would like to discuss any difficulties your business may be facing please contact Tom Russell or one of our team for an initial discussion.

You can also view one of our recent webinars, hosted alongside travel sector experts, here.