BusinessBusiness RecoveryButt-Uglies bite the dust

Butt-Uglies bite the dust

Children's entertainment rights company Just Group, owners of notorious cartoon characters Butt-Ugly Martians, have come crashing to earth following the appointment of administrators

The plug was pulled on the AIM-listed company after the failure of a last ditch fund-raising exercise following the suspension of its shares in November last year.

KPMG has now been brought in to see what can be salvaged from the company, which owns the intellectual rights to a number of children?’s characters, including Pinky and Perky as well as the Butt-Ugly Martians.

In August last year, the directors at Just sacked chief executive Wilf Shorrocks, who had founded the company 14 years previously, for alleged misuse of company funds, an allegation Shorrocks denies.

The company had also been considering legal action against Andersens over its due diligence work during the purchase of Mediakey in 2000.

The administrators have already been forced to make nine of the 78 employees of the company redundant.

Liabilities at the company are thought to be in the region of £23m, £12m of which is owed to NatWest.

Allan Graham, one of the administrators, said: ‘The group has made substantial losses in recent periods. However, despite this, the business is a potentially attractive proposition going forward due to the strength of the intellectual property rights to a number of brands it holds.’

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