Insolvency practitioners Tracey Lee Pye and David James Costley-Wood of KPMG have been appointed joint administrators of Malvern Group’s travel brands, Laterooms Limited, Superbreak Mini-Holidays Limited and Malvern Travel Technology Limited. The businesses ceased trading with immediate effect and are in administration as of 2 August 2019.
More than 50,000 UK holidaymakers could be affected by the group’s failure. Malvern Group was backed by Indian travel group Cox & Kings (49%) and the Cayman Islands-based Adiuvat Investment Fund (51%). Cox & Kings is facing problems of its own, having failed to meet debt repayments.
In a statement ahead of the appointment of administrators, Malvern Group said: “Following news of Cox and Kings India’s loan default a month ago, the situation has deteriorated rapidly resulting in the withdrawal of any further funding for Malvern Group.
“The management team recently appointed advisors from KPMG to undertake an accelerated sales process to ensure further investment, and have engaged with our principal bankers to secure interim funding.
“Unfortunately, given the short timeframe enabled by our cash position and despite interest from potential purchasers, we have been unable to secure bank support or a sale of the business.”
One day later the group went into administration. A statement from the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) said: “The vast majority of holidaymakers’ arrangements will be covered through one of a number of different types of financial protection.
“The majority of holidaymakers’ package bookings are covered by ABTA financial protection, while a significant proportion of other arrangements are covered by other types of protection including ATOL and credit card arrangements, depending on the type of booking. These customers will either be entitled to a refund, or, if they’ve booked through another travel company, they should contact them to discuss options which may include continuing with their booking, re-booking or alternative arrangements.”
Malvern Group employed some 250 staff in Manchester and York. The joint administrators are continuing to seek a buyer for the business at this time while working with both ABTA and the UK Civil Aviation Authority to minimise the impact on travellers.