According to reports in The Times, the FCA is close to a settlement with Park First and owner Toby Whittaker over the £230 million collapse of the scheme.Continue reading...
According to the Lancashire Telegraph, the Official Receiver has sold the freehold, associated assets and goodwill of Store First's 15 storage centres to Store First Freeholds Limited.
The assets of the service company, SFM Services, have been transferred to Pay Store Limited.
Both Store First Freeholds Limited and Pay Store Limited are wholly owned by Jennifer Whittaker, reportedly the wife of Store First CEO Toby Whittaker.
Reader Sally Jones has drawn my attention to some eye-opening posts over the past year from collapsed unregulated car park investment scheme Park First's Russian Instagram account.
All quotes below have been machine translated from the original Russian.
Smith & Williamson has succeeding in seeing off rival Quantuma's bid to investors to be appointed administrator of Park First.
A letter sent to Park First investors on Monday 2nd confirms Smith & Williamson's proposals for the administration were accepted in full.
A crucial court date looms on Monday 25th as stricken Park First investors decide whether to appoint Park First's own choice of administrators, Smith & Williamson, or rivals Quantuma LLP, proposed by an investor group.
A reminder of where we stand at the moment:
Back when the FCA shut down Park First as an illegal collective investment scheme, £33m of assets were ringfenced by the FCA to meet repayments to investors.
Smith & Williamson claimed that this sum would only be available to investors if they voted to appoint Smith & Williamson, otherwise Park First would withdraw it, and investors would risk getting nothing.
#TeamQuantuma claimed that this was false, and that the FCA had confirmed to Quantuma that the £33m was still ringfenced for investors regardless of which administrator they appointed.
A meeting of victims in the collapsed Park First investment scheme to approve the administrators' proposals has been adjourned to 25 November, after a proposal to appoint alternative administrators was not included on the agenda.
Smith & Williamson (also administering Reyker Securities and London Capital and Finance) were the choice of Park First's directors.
US-based Safe or Scam LLP has proposed an alternative administrator, Quantuma LLP (currently attempting to gain control of collapsed care home investment scheme Carlauren Group).
Safe or Scam characterise Smith & Williamson's proposals as amounting to the write off of £115m of debt owed by Park First group companies to the companies in administration.
On Thursday 4th July the Financial Conduct Authority and Smith & Williamson announced that Park First had been put into administration.
Smith & Williamson appear to be rapidly becoming the go-to liquidator for major collapsed unregulated investment schemes. Smith & Williamson are of course also managing the London Capital & Finance administration, with two of their LCF team - Finbarr O'Connell and Adam Stephens - also appointed to Park First.
The Insolvency Service's petition to wind up five Store First companies has concluded with Store First and the Insolvency Service mutually agreeing that four of the companies will be wound up. A fifth, Store First Midlands, will be allowed to continue trading.
Store First's self storage business in general will continue in operation.
The court case brought by Business Secretary Greg Clark against unregulated storage pod investment scheme Store First kicked off in Manchester's Business and Property Court on Monday.
Representing the Secretary of State, Paul Chaisty QC alleged that Store First raised £206 million from investors on the basis of "misleading information and testimonials”. The Government believes that Store First and related companies should be wound up to protect investors.
Store First insists that the scheme is viable and that winding the business up would cause investors to lose their money.
A winding-up petition launched by the Insolvency Service against unregulated store pod investment scheme Store First begins in the Manchester arm of the High Court today.
According to the Telegraph, the court session is due to last three weeks.
At the end, the court will decide whether Store First should be allowed to continue operating or whether it should be wound up and any assets distributed to its creditors.