Deloitte oversees Beta Distribution administration after 60 jobs lost

18 October 2018 2 min. read
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Big Four firm Deloitte has been enlisted to oversee the administration of Beta Distribution, after the British company collapsed earlier in October. The distribution firm is thought to have succumbed to Brexit pressure, among other factors, as its import prices were driven up by currency fluctuations.

Established in 1979, Beta Distribution is one of the UK’s largest independently owned IT products distributors. Based in London, Beta has spent three decades providing next-day UK nationwide delivery services, while working to provide its customers with market disruptive office hardware, as well as pre and post-sales support and marketing services.

Beta recently grew its headcount to 100 employees, with the acquisition of AV firm Content Wall in June 2018. However, news initially reported by online news outlet CRN saw Beta collapse into administration, just months later, after multiple credit insurers withdrew their cover, as the firm encountered headwinds partially related to Brexit. The firm is understood to have been a large importer of materials from the continent, and among other pressures, experienced issues with foreign exchange rates.

Deloitte oversees Beta Distribution administration after 60 jobs lost

For its financial year ending 31 March 2017, London-based Beta saw turnover of £186 million and net profit of £950,000, but last month extended its current accounting period, according to papers filed on Companies House. Since filing for administration, Beta has made 60 of its 100-strong workforce redundant, along with nine employees at Content Wall. Deloitte has confirmed that Restructuring Partners Clare Boardman and Richard Hawes have been appointed as joint administrators of the company.

Beta's demise represents the third sizeable distribution bankruptcy in as many years. It follows the 2016 downfall of Steljes, and Entatech in 2017. Interestingly, Beta had been close to acquiring Entatech in a pre-packaged administration at the time, before stepping back from the deal. The Belgian arm of the business will continue to trade, however, and Deloitte was keen to stress that Beta Distribution BV is not subject to any insolvency process.

Commenting on the UK wing to CRN, Clare Boardman said, "Beta Distribution has been experiencing increasing competition in the consumables market and this has placed it under a degree of liquidity pressure and has restricted the availability of credit to their suppliers… Despite interest from a number of parties, no sale of the overall business was achieved and the directors took the decision to place the business into an insolvency process."

Related: Deloitte to oversee Gaucho administration with 1,300 jobs at stake.