UK Equipment Direct to appoint liquidator

Catering equipment supplier UK Equipment Direct will hold a creditors meeting later this week to officially appoint a liquidator.

The Manchester company, which was reported to be making sales of £9m a year at one stage, summoned the meeting in accordance with the creditors’ voluntary winding up chapter of the 1986 Insolvency Act.

The meeting will take place at 12.00 on Friday November 9th at the offices of Crawfords Accountants in Salford.

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Under Sections 99, 100 and 101 of the Insolvency Act, the directors of the company are obliged to lay its statement of affairs before creditors at the meeting, including details of assets, debts and liabilities.

The creditors and the company will then seek to nominate a person to be liquidator for the purpose of winding up the company’s affairs and distributing its assets.

In the published meeting of creditors notice, the director named on the correspondence is Christopher Hewlett.

A list of the names and addresses of UK Equipment Direct’s creditors will be available for inspection, free of charge, at Crawfords’ office on each of the two business days before the meeting.

Crawfords did not respond to our request for further details on the case when contacted last week.

UK Equipment Direct was set up five years ago, employing 14 staff and operating a showroom in Manchester. The company started out as an ecommerce business before claiming to move into scheme work where it boasted of winning contracts with Kensington Palace and various NHS sites.

Speculation about UK Equipment Direct’s position had intensified in recent weeks, with caterers and suppliers contacting Catering Insight to say they were unable to reach anybody at the company.

The boss of one kitchen house that had previously purchased coffee machines from the company said he feared something was wrong when he tried contacting it to source spare parts.

“The machines worked very well until it came to repairing them and then I haven’t been able to get anywhere at all. I’ve been ringing the number on the back of the big catalogue I have and it is not being answered at all.”

UK Equipment Direct gained some unexpected national exposure at the start of the year when Azhar Siddique, one of its directors at the time, starred in the BBC TV series The Apprentice.

However, Siddique moved on from the business shortly afterwards to pursue other opportunities created by his involvement in the show.

A Companies House filing from earlier this month confirms that Siddique is no longer a director of the company.

In correspondence with Catering Insight back in September, Siddique referred to the “sale of UK Equipment Direct Limited in May” as one of his highlights on a professional level this year.

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