Defunct dealer receives authorisation to re-start under same name

Windsor House crop
Hale Investments operated from Windsor House in Harrogate.

The directors of a liquidated Harrogate-based catering equipment dealer are to begin trading under the same name after special dispensation was granted under the Insolvency Act.

Hale Investments was put into creditors’ voluntary liquidation on 17 September 2019, with directors listed as John Partridge and Milena Winfield.

Having been established in 1999, the business entered the commercial kitchen project market in 2011 trading as Commercial Kitchen Design (CKD). Latterly, it also traded as a distributor of related products under the brand ‘CaterTrade’.

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David Broadbent and Michael Jenkins of Begbies Traynor were appointed as the joint liquidators of Hale Investments.

The insolvency specialists told Catering Insight: “The company failed due to bad debts and contract disputes, exacerbated by a lack of confirmed future orders and a general decline in the wholesale business.”

Hale Investment’s statement of affairs on Companies House shows that the former dealer accrued nearly £198k in debts. Major creditors included Electrolux Professional, LeighTech Systems, MEC Europe and MKN.

However, last week Partridge and Winfield were approved to ‘re-use a prohibited name’ after establishing a firm called Lister House Ventures, with the intention to once again use the Commercial Kitchen Design and CaterTrade trading names.

Begbies Traynor confirmed: “One of the directors has set up a new company, which has purchased certain assets from the liquidators. Following legal advice, the director intends to use the same trading names as the company for the new venture and was required under insolvency legislation to advertise a notice in relation to this.”

The Commercial Kitchen Design website currently has a holding page, while the CaterTrade site is offline at this time.

Tags : businesscatertradecommercial kitchen designdealerdistributorhale investmentsinsolvencyliquidationout of business
Clare Nicholls

The author Clare Nicholls


  1. They were also Newscan in the past, victims of undercutting and selling at low margins causing disruption in the market place.
    Its tough times! These tactics are just a race to the bottom we all need to hold our nerve whilst we navigate through Brexit!

  2. I would be interested to see what it is they are going to do differently then to avoid a repeat of being unable to find sufficient orders to support the business at the same time as improving cash flow by finding end users that will settle their invoices to time in what they state is a general decline in their chosen target market.

  3. Yet another joke in the commercial catering world. Firstly Newscan go burst taking people and suppliers for £000’s , then Hale investments take people for nearly £200k.

    How on earth can they get a dispensation to use the same trading names. Suppliers should do the decent thing and put them on pro Forma only as they have a clear track record of running businesses into the ground with no idea how to deal in the current market economy.

  4. There are now far too many mickey mouse companies in commercial catering that are simply saturating the market in a race to the bottom. Everybody can have a website that makes them look like a proper company these days and the punters know no better until they get stung either with bad service or an Insolvency. This whole industry is becoming an utter joke.

    Manufacturers and Wholesalers need to get a grip of their distributors and cut the one man bands and dealers that bring nothing of value to their products and/or services. Anybody can sell Plates for 42% off List!! All it’s doing is devaluing the brand.

    We all know who these companies are and their names keep popping up time and time again. Especially when it comes to internet dealers!! Why should the companies employing sales reps be forced to lower their margins in order to compete with the one man band’s out there who use the manufacturer for their warehousing, logistics and sales support and are then quite happy to make 3 or 4% margin without actually adding any value? Frankly its getting to the point where manufacture might as well just go direct to the end user.

    The advent of dropshipping has been great for the end user, but its been disastrous for this industry as a whole. You can literally run a catering equipment company out of your spare bedroom these days, and it doesn’t matter if you go belly up! Just start up again the next day!


  6. Good Heavens Mr Venus! What a strange, childish and unprofessional comment!
    Perhaps you could let us know who your paymaster is as I personally would be willing to do your job for 5k per annum less than they pay you!
    How would you feel about that?

    1. Quite right Dan.
      Very unprofessional and a poor attitude, we all as dealers started somewhere and comments like this don’t help!

  7. Hi Martin Most manufacturers started as one man bands and built there business on one man bands . Now most manufactures will sell to every man and his dog through SUPER DEALERS internet box shifting 5% – profit websites. There is no more joy then reading another head line about these people going bust, but even better the creditors list.

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