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GSS boss considers going bankrupt

17th October 2013
Page 4
Page 4, 17th October 2013 — GSS boss considers going bankrupt
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

By Ashleigh Wight

THE DIRECTOR of Cardiff-based Global Specialised Services (GSS), which owes creditors more than £900,000, said he is looking at the possibility of declaring himself bankrupt and is selling his houses to achieve maximum payment for creditors.

The haulier, which changed its name to WDMII the day before it ceased trading on 30 July, appointed liquidator Darren Brookes of Milner Boardman at a creditors meeting on 10 September. Director Mike Mitchell told CM that a move away from freight forwarding into general warehousing and logistics, which saw it take on 50,000ft2of warehousing and its fleet reach 10 trucks, took up more resources

than anticipated. This, coupled with some of its regular customers relocating or closing their doors, led to cashflow problems beginning in March.

Mitchell said he injected £200,000 of his own funds into the firm, as well as seeking funds from its factors and short-term help from the bank, but was unsuccessful.

"Both houses are up for sale and I am looking at the possibility of having to declare myself personally bankrupt to achieve maximum monies for the creditors," Mitchell said. "While I take full responsibility, I do feel justified to apportion some of the blame to not insignificant bad debt against us and client circumstances, combined with a substantial amount to achieve Authorised Economic Operator status."

Mitchell confirmed that 33 of the firm's employees were transferred over to United Worldwide Logistics (UWL), a company run by Mitchell's sister, when it ceased trading.

He said GSS planned to acquire UWL, which was formerly known as Compass Worldwide, before it went into liquidation. UWL is now looking to buy some of GSS's goodwill.

The liquidator's statement of company affairs showed that the firm owed £943,243 as at 10 September, including £177, 587 in VAT and PAYE to HMRC.

A number of other transport firms are owed significant amounts, including Kuehne + Nagel, which is owed £56,252; Schenker, owed £21,000; and Pembrokeshire-based Crymych Couriers, which is owed £11,986.

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