Simon Bonney and Michael Kiely of business advisory firm Quantuma and Brian Baker of Moore Kingston Smith Licensed Insolvency Practitioners have been appointed as joint administrators of Gate Ventures PLC (Gate Ventures).
Founded in 2015, Gate Ventures is an investment company focused on the music, entertainment and media industries, primarily in the UK and China. It is listed on Nasdaq First North.
While the business had one of the most successful London stock market flotations of all time in 2015, with an initial share price in March of 15p rising to 315p by June, it has never been profitable. Following the resignation of its main advisor, Gate Ventures was withdrawn from trading on AIM in July which led to cumulative losses of over £23m.
The administration follows a contentious court application by the company’s major creditor. In making the order, the judge recognised that there were a number of transactions entered into by Gate Ventures with related parties, including Sarah, Duchess of York and its former chairman, Dr Jonny Hon, which required further examination. The judge also directed that a counter-claim by the company against the major creditor is also to be investigated, hence the appointment of Brian Baker.
Simon Bonney, the lead administrator and an investigations specialist at Quantuma, said: “As a listed company, Gate Ventures has received significant sums of money from both creditors and shareholders and the majority of those funds have been lost.
“The judge was clear that the board of directors had allowed some extraordinary expenditure which appeared on the face of it to have no relationship to the business of the company.
“Our role is to manage and realise Gate’s remaining assets and find out what has actually happened and take action as appropriate to recover as much as possible for stakeholders.”
Brian Baker, charged solely with investigating the company’s counter-claim said, “In making its Order, the court has also taken into account the directors’ allegations against the applicant, which I and my team will investigate further.”
Notes to Editors
Quantuma LLP is a leading business advisory firm which works with businesses at the key milestones, delivering partner led solutions to help clients take advantage of opportunities and overcome a range of operational and financial challenges, enabling them to achieve their business objectives and ambitions. The business has 18 offices, including 15 in the UK, two international offices in Cyprus (Nicosia and Paphos) and one in Mauritius.
About Moore Kingston Smith Licensed Insolvency Practitioners
Moore Kingston Smith Licensed Insolvency Practitioners (MKSLIP) is the insolvency and restructuring arm of Moore Kingston Smith. As licensed insolvency practitioners, MKSLIP acts as officeholders, has long-standing relationships with alternative funders, creditors and HMRC, and can handle negotiations on behalf of businesses. MKSLIP secures the optimal commercial solution for businesses whether via a solvent or insolvent route.