Phillip Cook, chairman of stricken retailer Unwins, is planning to sue former
auditors Grant Thornton, as well as his company’s shareholders and directors,
for £40m following alleged accounting errors.
Cook bought Unwins last March from the Wetz family through DM Private Equity,
and is now alleging it was insolvent when he paid £2m for it, Reuters
Grant Thornton, Unwins’ auditor before the DM Private Equity purchase, said
it could not comment on a claim it had not yet seen.
The stricken off-licence group went into administration in December, and
appointed KPMG’s Blair Nimmo, Myles Halley and Jane Moriarty as joint
Prior to the appointment, the company had already shed 400 staff and had
closed 255 of its 350 stores.
KPMG closed the remaining stores and made 1,400 employees redundant, leaving
only 20 staff to help the administrators in the short-term.
The Big Four firm did manage to save some of these jobs, however, with the
sale of 200 Unwins stores to beer and wine retailer Threshers for an undisclosed
Unwins was hit by increased competition from supermarkets and tight margins.
Steve Absolom and Will Wright from KPMG Restructuring have been appointed joint administrators to City Motor Holdings and associated companies
Partners from Johnston Carmichael have been appointed as joint administrators to Axon Well Interventions Products UK
Begbies Traynor have been appointed administrators of William Anelay Ltd, York, one of Britain’s longest-established construction and heritage restoration companies
Smith & Williamson has been appointed administrators of charity 4Children