IPA exclusive industry update from Insolvency Insider

IPA Insolvency Practitioner newsletter, January 2024

A specially curated selection of the top stories for IPA members from Insolvency Insider Editor, Dina Kovacevic. More information on all the stories and the link to subscribe to the newsletter is here.

Recent insolvencies

Communisis Limited, a Leeds-based printing business which employed over 1,000 people in the UK and approximately 200 people overseas, providing services to the UK’s largest financial and public institutions, entered administration on 28 December. Mike Pink and Steve Absolom of Interpath Advisory were appointed joint administrators, and said that the group had been experiencing challenging trading conditions, including declining volumes and increased costs of production. Immediately on their appointment, the joint administrators completed a sale of the firm’s brand deployment business to Paragon Customer Communications, saving approximately 580 jobs. Unfortunately, over 600 employees have been made redundant. Acquiom Agency Services and Barclays Bank have registered charges against the company.

LumiraDx Group Limited and LumiraDx International Limited, subsidiaries of next generation point of care diagnostic company LumiraDx Limited (NASDAQ: LMDX), entered administration on 29 December. Andrew JohnsonLisa Rickelton and Lindsay Hallam of FTI Consulting were appointed joint administrators, and immediately completed a sale of the subsidiaries, which collectively hold substantially all of the assets of the LumiraDx group, to Swiss drugmaker Roche. The consideration for the deal is $295 million to be paid at the close of the transaction, which is expected to occur by mid-2024. Biopharma Credit PLC has registered charges against both companies.

Stanley Gibbons Limited (AIM:SGI) and A.H. Baldwin & Sons Limited, the trading entities of the Stanley Gibbons group, the world’s longest established rare stamp dealer, entered administration on 22 December. Edward WilliamsTimothy Higgins and Peter Dickens of PwC were appointed joint administrators. The companies operate from a head office on the Strand, London and have a secondary site in Ringwood, Hampshire. Despite strong growth in auctions this year and new partnerships in publications, the companies were unable to resolve their historical liabilities including pensions, legacy acquisitions, leases and debt. An unsuccessful solvent sale process was undertaken, leading to the appointment of administrators. Immediately on their appointment, the joint administrators completed a sale of the business and assets of the companies to Strand Collectibles Group, saving 66 jobs. Phoenix S.G. LimitedBestrustees LimitedPhoenix UK Fund LimitedNational Westminster Bank PLC and The Royal Bank of Scotland PLC have registered charges against the companies.


Paul Keddie and Timothy Bromley-White of Macfarlanes examine how recent innovations in restructuring plans – such as the use of SPVs – have increased their flexibility, but conclude that such plans are best suited for cross-border restructurings and are unlikely to become more popular amongst SMEs, even if they could be made cheaper.

Richard Mendoza and Andrew Cooke of Herbert Smith Freehills caution directors to seek majority board approval before applying for an administration order, describing how the High Court recently rejected an argument that one direction can make the application where a two-director board is deadlocked.

The team at Proskauer look at the standalone moratorium introduced by the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 and question whether a “light-touch” administration provides a more effective “debtor-in-possession” rehabilitative procedure.

Please note that guest content does not necessarily represent the views of the IPA.