Dealer ‘liquidation’ not what it seems


A spate of dealer insolvencies over the past few months has left the industry feeling understandably nervous, but news of the latest catering equipment liquidation isn’t all that it seems.

A liquidation notice published earlier this month suggested yet another dealer may have fallen victim to market conditions after Stephen M. Rout & Company was named as the official liquidator for ‘B and M Catering Equipment’.

According to the notice, the previous name of B and M Catering Equipment Limited was ‘Bill Ibbotts Catering Equipment Services Limited’ based in Cambridgeshire.

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However, while that is a name that will be familiar with many in the industry, the company has absolutely nothing to do with the ‘Bill Ibbotts’ business now owned and managed by former Rational MD Andrew Jones.

In fact, the whole situation can be explained as an administrative formality.

When Jones purchased the business back in 2011it was operating as ‘Bill Ibbotts Catering Equipment Services Limited’. He retained ‘Bill Ibbotts CES’ as the company’s new trading name and then dropped the ‘Ltd’ as its actual limited company name is ‘Andrew Jones Direct Ltd’.

Bill Ibbott himself was then advised to continue with his company number until he had fully liquidated his business, subsequently changing the name to ‘B and M Catering Ltd’.

“I have had a few manufacturers call me in panic mode, but reassured them that this was not us going into liquidation and that Bill has now totally closed all his company books relating to the business he sold me,” explained Jones. “Our business is still exceeding all its targets.”

Since the change of ownership in 2011 Bill Ibbotts CES has gone from strength to strength, moving from a services-only company into a much more rounded catering equipment installation and supply business.

Last month Jones revealed that the organisation is on course to grow more than 30% this year and said the business had almost doubled in headcount since the change of ownership.

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Andrew Seymour

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