Inverness-haulier MK Leslie ceases trading

Commercial Motor
September 20, 2013

MK Leslie has gone into administration and ceased to trade, after falling into a downward spiral that it could not recover from.

A report from the firm’s administrators, KPMG, dated 18 September, cited competitive pressures leading to losses, which in turn lead to cash-flow issues at the Iverness-based haulier and “significant HMRC arrears”.

Although a repayment plan was in place with the tax man, this was not adhered to and the company’s banking facilities were withdrawn shortly before the date of administration on the 30 July 2013, due to its deteriorating credit rating.

After its banking facilities were withdraw Bibby Factors Scotland provided a processing facility for it, but after the hauliers’ directors failed to secure alternative banking facilitates, administration was initiated. Bibby Factors, a secured lender, was owed £344,187 at this point.

Significant liabilities

KPMG said that although the company undertook asset disposals in the months before entering administration, it built up liabilities in excess of £1.3m to HMRC at the point it ceased to trade.

A meeting of creditors is due to be held at KPMG’s Aberdeen offices on 3 October, but the administrator KPMG said it expected to be able to pay the £461,687 owed to secured and preferential creditors. Unsecured creditors, which are owed just over £3.4m, will likely receive an as yet unspecified dividend.

MK Leslie, whose directors at the time of KPMG’s appointment included Malcolm Keith Leslie and Karl Ivor Davidson, began trading in 1994.

The firm specialised in plant hire and civil engineering contracting, operating across Scotland and Shetland. It traded from leased premises at Dalcross Industrial Estate in Inverness as well as a location in Scalloway, Shetland, with 59 employees and annual turnover approaching £8m. It held an O-licence for up to 25 vehicles across the two sites.

In the year ending 30 April 2013 it made a pre-tax loss of £490,322, having made a loss of £486,041 a year earlier.

The haulier had its knuckles rapped in 2011 by traffic commissioner Joan Aitken for its part in a disc swapping scheme.

The directors of MK Leslie could not be reached.

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