03 Aug 2005
The founder of the newly purchased gift experience company Red Letter Days has been ousted from the business by Peter Jones, her fellow panelist on the BBC2 reality talent show Dragons' Den.
A spokesman for AIC, the 50-50 joint venture between Jones and Theo Paphitis, former Millwall football club chairman, told The Times that Rachel Elnaugh would no longer be working with the business and a new chief executive would be sought once the company had been made financially stable.
The 39-year-old Elnaugh, a former accountant and tax consultant with Arthur Andersen, started the company 16 years ago, however, the business went into administration this Monday with debts of about £12m - just days after she gave birth to her fourth child.
A joint statement by Jones and Paphitis said they had 'worked tirelessly' all weekend and late on Monday night to find ways of completing a rescue package for RLD.
Both serial entrepreneurs purchased the assets and goodwill of the company, claiming that it was 'great news' for customers and the RLD brand. They also said the buyout would also safeguard's the company’s 130-plus employees.
The statement added that Jones and Paphitis had 'already committed to honour all RLD experiences that had been purchased directly from the company through Visa and Mastercard'.
It said that discussions would take place with all its suppliers over the next few days in order that 'direct working relationships could be re-established' and that individuals with current vouchers could rebook and 'enjoy the experiences they had purchased'.
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