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Archial bought by Canadian company Ingenium

Collapsed architectural giant Archial has been sold to Canadian-based multi-disciplinary outfit Ingenium

Administrator PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), which took over the running of Archial after the company failed to thrash out a deal over unpaid taxes with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) last week, would not disclose how much Ingenium had paid for Archial Architects Limited and Alsop Sparch.

The newly created behemoth will be called Ingenium Archial.

It is not known how many of Archial’s 500 staff will join the 800 employees currently on Ingenium’s books.

David Chubb, joint administrator and partner at PwC said: ‘We are delighted to be able to secure this sale and provide business continuity for customers, suppliers and employees alike in these uncertain times. Trading a professional services business in administration is extremely difficult and this success has only been possible as a result of the support of all these stakeholders. I would like to thank them for their assistance throughout this difficult period.”

Shares in Archial Group Plc were suspended from the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) on 17 September 2010 following presentation of winding-up petitions, and the company and a number of its subsidiaries went into administration on 21 September.

It is understood, following the insolvency of the Companies, there will not be any value realised for the holders of the suspended shares.

Previous story (AJ 28.09.10)

Archial collapse: administrator looking for ‘rapid sale’

Administrator PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is looking for a ‘rapid sale’ of architectural giant Archial which went under last night (21 September)

According to an official statement released by the 500-strong company today (22 September), Archial had been unable to agree a repayment deal with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) regarding outstanding tax debts.

Newly appointed administrator PwC is now hoping to sell off the practice, once the second biggest in the UK with 270 qualified architects, as ‘a going concern’.

Official appointment of administrators notice

The Board of Archial Group Plc announced on Friday 17 September that it had requested a suspension, with immediate effect, of trading of its shares on AIM.

The Company has been in discussions with HMRC, its bankers and principal shareholders with regards to payment in full of amounts due in respect of outstanding amounts due, as announced at the Company’s Trading Update on 26th August 2010. On Friday 17 September 2010, ahead of its meeting with HMRC, scheduled for Tuesday 21st September 2010, the Company learnt that HMRC had filed winding up petitions against the Company and certain of its subsidiaries.  As a result of the issuing of the petitions the bank accounts of the Company and its subsidiaries were frozen, making ongoing trading very difficult.  The Company met with HMRC as planned on 21st September and requested the withdrawal of these petitions and presented a proposal for payment to HMRC provided that HMRC withdrew its petitions with immediate effect.  HMRC declined the offer made.

In the light of the outcome of the meeting with HMRC, David Chubb and Graham Frost of PwC were appointed joint Administrators of the Company and certain other subsidiaries in the Group at 4.30pm on 21 September.

The joint Administrators will be seeking a rapid sale of the business as a going concern to achieve the maximum realisations for the creditors of the Group.  The directors continue to believe that the Group operates a good business, and are confident that the Administrators will achieve a sale of the business as a going concern. 

In accordance with the terms of its agreement with the Company, Numis Securities Limited has today served notice of its resignation as nominated adviser with immediate effect. As such, should the Company not appoint another nominated adviser by 22 October 2010, the admission of its shares to AIM will be cancelled on that date.

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