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Accounting black hole sees PR firm sold in pre-pack

Chantrey Vellacott administrators sell Ward Lovett Advertising after a fraud was discovered at the firm

24 Jan 2013 Accountancy Age

By Rachael Singh

Craig Povey

CHANTREY VELLACOTT administrators have managed to rescue a business after it a former employee stole nearly £200,000.

Craig Povey (pictured) and Kevin Murphy, partners at Chantrey Vellacott DFK, were appointed joint administrators and sold the business to Kerst Limited.

Ward Lovett was run by two directors, one of whom was Kerst Ward, who has created Kerst Limited.

A pre-pack administration is where the marketing and sale of a company is arranged by a practitioner prior to it entering administration and sold immediately after the company enters the insolvency process.

Ward Lovett, which sold the business and all its assets as part of the pre-pack administration, employs about 12 staff at its base in Cannock.

Povey said that Ward Lovett was a strong business but had struggled to meet its HMRC liabilities following the theft of nearly £200,000 from a former company treasurer between 2006 and 2010.

"The reality is that any small business would struggle to come to terms with nearly £200,000 being stolen from its accounts, and the underlying business has the potential to be profitable again," he said.

"The firm had a built a strong reputation and has a string of lucrative contracts with major brands but had struggled following the theft."

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