KPMG oversees administration of Malvern Group

27 August 2019 Consultancy.uk

KPMG has been appointed as administrator for Super Break and LateRooms parent Malvern Group. The group collapsed into administration at the start of August, following a rapid deterioration of its finances, according to the KPMG professionals.

Holiday makers have been left in an awkward situation after Super Break, LateRooms and Malvern Travel Technology all ceased trading with immediate effect. Super Break has 400 customers on holiday overseas or in the UK and 20,000 forward bookings affecting 53,000 customers. Around 250 of those currently on holiday are overseas and are Atol protected, while Super Break is a member of Abta and LateRooms.com is not, meaning some customers are unlikely to be compensated.

Malvern Group, the parent of Super Break and Laterooms.com, went into administration at the start of August. Malvern’s most recent accounts for the year ending March 2018 reported a loss of £2.26 million on a turnover of £90 million. The group employed 350 staff, 43 of whom have been retained as buyers are sought for the business and its assets.

KPMG oversees administration of Malvern Group

Hugo Kimber, Executive Chairman, commented,  “This is a devastating blow for all of our wonderful employees who have invested so much time and effort into building Malvern, its brands and trips technology platform. This is equally difficult for all our suppliers, partners and customers who will be impacted by this news. To be so close to delivering our goal of an integrated, dynamic and commercially successful business, that could provide significant value through its innovative products, is heart-breaking.”

The firm appointed Tracey Pye and David Costley-Wood from KPMG Restructuring, having “deteriorated rapidly”, following a loan default from one of its key shareholders. Cox & Kings Travel owned 49% of Malvern Group, but the firm’s default a month before seems to have cost Malvern Group dearly.

KPMG’s Pye and Costley-Wood are understood to be “working closely” with both Abta and the Civil Aviation Authority to minimise disruption to customers. KPMG will meanwhile try to sell the group to ensure secure investment, and has engaged with banks to secure interim funding.

Pye said, “Detailed information regarding how bookings will be affected can be found on the LateRooms.com and Super Break websites. Unfortunately the customer contact centre is no longer operational, so we kindly request passengers do refer to the information online in the first instance. We continue to invite offers for the business, and would urge any interested parties to make their interest known as soon as possible.”

Unseasonable weather and the impact of Brexit uncertainty on consumers’ travel plans have hit the UK travel industry hard in recent months. Earlier in the year, market stalwart Thomas Cook suffered a £1.5 billion loss for the six months leading to March 31st 2019. Meanwhile, Manchester-based tour operator On the Beach issued a profits warning in August, following a sharp decline in the value of the pound pushing up holiday prices.


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