BusinessBusiness RecoveryCarter & Carter felled by acquisition strategy

Carter & Carter felled by acquisition strategy

Carter & Carter’s aggressive acquisition strategy has been blamed for its current woes, which have put 2,500 jobs on the line

Nick Dargan, Deloitte administratot

Reviewing all options: Deloitte’s Nick Dargan

Deloitte administrator Nick Dargan, appointed last week, said: ‘It is clear
that the Carter & Carter group has a number of tremendous businesses within
its portfolio. But it found it increasingly difficult to sustain the significant
level of debt carried following its strategy of growth by acquisition.’

The training company, which had high-profile accounting problems and has a
turnover of £125m, was forced into administration after its lenders refused to
bankroll restructuring efforts.

Barclays, HBOS and Lloyds TSB rejected
Carter &
Carter
’s offer to give them a large tranche of shares in return for wiping
off a sizeable portion of its debt.

Once a darling of the stock market, the company’s accounting issues came to a
head at the end of last year, forcing it to suspend its shares and call in
Pricewaterhouse-Coopers to investigate its accounting protocols. PwC was tasked
with a mandate to look for signs of early revenue recognition at the once
booming company.

The group operates from more than 100 locations across the UK and abroad,
provides vocational learning services and employability skills training
primarily under government funded contracts. It also provides outsourcing of
back office and other functions to the automotive sector.

A spokesperson said that Deloitte’s work was in the early stages as
administrators were currently collating information.

Dargan added: ‘We are delighted with the co-operation given to our team by
the management and employees, the Learning and Skills Council and the group’s
existing lenders. That has provided a stable platform to allow us to review all
options available to secure the future survival of the group.’

The publication of
Carter &
Carter
’s prelims remain on ice following its problems.

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