Feeds

Articles about Credit Insurance

Northamber

Credit safety net ripped from under elder IT distie Northamber

QBE Insurance has removed entire lines of trade credit insurance on Surrey-based distributor Northamber, The Channel can reveal. Declining trade at one of the oldest wholesalers of IT gear in Blighty is understood to be the reason behind indemnifier QBE's decision, say our sources. Disties Computers Unlimited (Janson Group) and …
Paul Kunert, 30 Apr 2013
grab_that_cash

Credit insurance: The hidden data-driven force which killed Comet

A quick look at what happened to high street electronics retailer Comet when its credit insurers slammed their wallets shut should be enough to get any IT business interested in cash-flow, insurance and credit lines. But while credit and cash-flow are often seen as stale subjects, they can be the lifeblood of business - almost …
Eddie Pacey, 16 Nov 2012

Credit insurer sets up 'task force' in wake of enormo UK IT biz failures

Trade credit insurer Atradius is setting up a specialist task force to analyse UK channel companies that have a high debt-to-assets ratio or have VC backing in the wake of recent high-profile and costly failures. As world + dog knows, High Street giant Comet hit the wall in December owing creditors £257m, costing the UK …
Paul Kunert, 15 Apr 2013
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Insurance giant: IT dealers will survive the downturn

The UK boss at credit insurer Euler Hermes reckons that although channel insolvencies may edge up again next year, B2B resellers are in comparatively rude health. The number of IT dealers hitting the wall returned to levels not seen since the dot-com bust during the first half of 2011 and are forecast to remain high as the …
Paul Kunert, 05 Dec 2011
5_pounds_sterling_money_cash_moolah

Dixons keeps wolves from the revolving credit facility door

Dixons Retail has inked a £300m revolving credit facility with its financial backers that should ease the cash flow of Blighty's largest retailer. The deal extends Dixons current facility, which was due to mature next year, until the end of June 2015. Sources say this will provide short term guarantees that should keep the …
Paul Kunert, 25 May 2012
Comet Siding Spring. Pic: NASA

Why did Comet fail? Hint: It wasn't just the credit insurers

Comet's fiscal light was burning less brightly well before OpCapita entered its orbit, but the venture capitalist's involvement snuffed it out entirely. Signs that all was not well can be traced back to 2008, when Comet's profit before tax tumbled from £56m to £25m. In successive years it posted losses of £8m, £3m and finally £ …
Eddie Pacey, 22 Nov 2012
closed_sign shut down under collapsed liquidation

Don't wait to check your parachute until you're out of the plane

Business failure and insolvency are so rarely a cheery subject. But it's kinda funny how frequently companies hit by high-value losses almost immediately say "we had insurance", as if to say the loss will not be felt too hard. It’s tempting to boast that your debt is insured when it isn’t: it makes the loss seem less troublesome …
Eddie Pacey, 17 Jun 2013

'Zombie hunter' task force unleashed on the UK tech biz

A special force of crack zombie hunters swings into action today to rid old Blighty of the shuffling scourge of undead firms surviving only to pay the interest on debts. The mission of the task force, whose formation was revealed by The Channel last month, is to build a profile of private equity backed businesses in the IT …
Paul Kunert, 13 May 2013
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Budget reaction: Credit insurance good, all else bad

Reaction to Alistair Darling's budget is mixed to say the least. Even the £2,000 subsidy for people buying a new car and scrapping an old one has had a mixed response from the motor industry. The Federation for Small Business welcomed help in training young people but said: "We are very disappointed that this budget will do …
John Oates, 22 Apr 2009
closed_sign shut down under collapsed liquidation

'Petrified' insurers slam wallets shut as more resellers go titsup

The small sequential rise in reseller insolvencies in Q3 - in line with seasonality - will do nothing to calm credit insurers' general uneasiness about the IT sector. Data from credit reference agency Graydon UK, shows 75 channel firms bit the dust during the summer quarter, up from 64 in Q2 but dramatically lower than the 93 of …
Paul Kunert, 23 Oct 2012
balaclava_thief_burglar

How the internet turned ram-raiders into sophisticated fraudsters

Fraud and theft has always been as much of a part of the technology channel scene as fast cars and bonus time excess. But it seems the shift to electronic communications has handed the bad guys a more subtle arsenal. If we look back over the years, it's clear your best defence is to refine your ability to detect when something …
Eddie Pacey, 16 Sep 2013

Deloitte in the saddle at Comet, seeking stability - and a buyer

Deloitte said its first task as Comet's administrative receiver is to steady the ship and then seek anyone interested buying an ailing veteran retailer, hamstrung by huge overheads and facing fierce competition from leaner online rivals. Good luck with that. After days of industry chatter, Comet finally called in the receivers …
Paul Kunert, 05 Nov 2012
Comet_EV_01

Ailing Comet at last prayers: Cawing of accountants and VCs fills air

Beleaguered bricks and mortar retailer Comet is lurching toward administration with Deloite understood to be waiting in the wings. Parent Kesa Electricals offloaded Comet to OpCapita in November 2011 for a nominal fee of £2 but it was forced to hand over a £63m dowry for working capital purposes and retain the pension scheme. …
Paul Kunert, 01 Nov 2012

One year on: What exactly did the 2e2 collapse teach us?

“Sam, I need you in the Heathrow office early tomorrow morning,” read the panicked text from my line manager on a Sunday night. The UK subs of 2e2 Group entered administration a year ago. I had a unique vantage point from where I sat within the crumbling company through the brutal process of administration and seeing the …
Sam Simpson, 20 Feb 2014
2e2

UK's 2e2 goes titsup

Troubled integrator 2e2 Group has left a potentially devastating trail of debts in its wake after calling in the administrators to its UK ops. The financial backers of the Berkshire-based business hauled in FTI Consulting on Monday afternoon, putting nearly 2,000 jobs at risk of redundancy. "We are working closely with …
Paul Kunert, 29 Jan 2013

Bargain! Desperate Comet SLASHES price of £4,400 iPod Nano

Comet has generously slashed 97 per cent off the price of an Apple iPod Nano, touting the pocket-stroker at £129 rather than an eye-watering, er, £4,444. Until now the chain's clearance sale may not have impressed deal-hungry shoppers, but this saving was sadly too good to be true. The photo below shows a standard Nano model on …
Paul Kunert, 09 Nov 2012
2e2

Channel biggun 2e2 dragged to county court over £14,000 debt

Reseller-cum-integrator 2e2 has been handed a County Court Judgment (CCJ) over the late settlement of a £14,000 debt. The CCJ lodged at the Northampton County Court's money claims centre must be resolved inside 30 days of 15 September. Failure to do so means the debt is not scratched off the register even after it's been paid …
Paul Kunert, 21 Sep 2012
closed_sign shut down under collapsed liquidation

Cashless Comet to close 41 stores, axe 500 jobs

Collapsed electricals retailer Comet is to shutter 41 stores over the next fortnight, administrator Deloitte has confirmed. So far Dixons Retail and Maplin are among the rivals circling the fallen retailer, although it appears the two are interested in just a handful of stores. As a result the closing down process began at 27 …
Paul Kunert, 19 Nov 2012
Comet_EV_01

Comet confesses: The receivers are among us even now

Comet has finally confirmed that administrative receivers will be landing on its door step early next week. It is understood that Deloitte will review the options for the ailing retailer which include selling it as a going concern, scaling it back or liquidating it. A spinner at the chain told The Channel: "Comet Group Limited …
Paul Kunert, 01 Nov 2012
Comet_EV_01

Comet train set for SMASH, staff can only hope to be in right carriage

Penniless Comet's network of UK stores is on the brink of break up as staff enter a "collective consultation" over potential redundancies. In a letter to the electrical chain's workers, administrator Deloitte warned that if it is unable to sell the business as a going concern, it will be forced to flog bits and pieces to …
Paul Kunert, 15 Nov 2012
reseller_closures

What 80/20 really means: One big failed customer will kill you

Once again small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are being held up as the saviour of the economy in general and the IT industry in particular. But once again, I expect our industry to ignore what's staring them in the face. Why is it that vendors, big business, governments and Uncle Tom Cobley are talking about the value of …
Eddie Pacey, 05 Jul 2013
© Copyright Anthony O'Neil and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

UK gov probes Comet crash: Public, private sectors LOST £257m

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills plans to probe the administration of Comet, whose collapse has left the private and public sector out of pocket to the tune of £257m. The Insolvency Service is to launch the investigation after receiving numerous complaints from MPs just as the doors close on Comet's last 49 …
Paul Kunert, 18 Dec 2012

Rug tugged from under 2e2 after it racked up £50m loss - report

Brit IT biz 2e2 went under because its financial reports were flawed, it plunged nearly £50m into the red and its backers refused to throw good money after bad. That's according to a two-inch-thick dossier by the company's administrators FTI Consulting. The report documents the days leading up to the Berkshire-based integrator's …
Paul Kunert, 25 Mar 2013
closed_sign

Micro Anvika shutters stores, axes staff in fight for life

Troubled Tottenham Court Road retailer Micro Anvika's short-term future is looking more secure after suppliers gave its proposed rescue package the thumbs up. The move came at a cost, however: the firm has shuttered more than half its stores and laid off more than 60 per cent of staff in a bid to convince creditors, owed £2.7m …
Paul Kunert, 01 May 2012
The Register breaking news

Dealer Credit Squeeze Part 2

Part 2 There have been a number of scathing comments made particularly about ETI, the dominant supplier of credit insurance to the UK channel and some have also pointed that there needs to be more effective communication between the insurers and their policyholders. In ETI's defence it has continued to support the sector by …
Brian Burke, 30 Apr 2001
chart

Apple lures Dixons boss Browett to run global retail biz

Channel bully boy Apple has nabbed Dixons chief exec John Browett to head up its worldwide retail biz. Browett - who has presided over the struggling UK consumer giant since 2007 - will step down from the board on 20 February and leave on 20 April. He will be replaced by group operations director Sebastian James, will be plonked …
Paul Kunert, 31 Jan 2012
arrow pointing up

Yorks PC maker goes titsup owing £1m+

West Yorkshire-based Cube Enterprises has gone under owing more than £1.2m to trade and expense creditors, the Reg has learned. The Wetherby firm went down in May, but a director's report presented to creditors at a meeting on 9 June revealed creditors were unlikely to recoup monies owed, resulting in anguished howls from the …
Paul Kunert, 14 Jun 2011
channel

Some go gracefully in the Channel - and some go messily

Liquidators of defunct reseller Skye IT have confirmed to El Reg that the firm ran up massive debts of £1.9m. As revealed last month, the Chelmsford-based dealer decided to call it a day after encountering insurmountable cash flow difficulties and laid off all 40 staff. A meeting of creditors was held at the London offices of …
Paul Kunert, 18 Nov 2011
The Register breaking news

CBI demands action from Osborne

Business lobby group the CBI warned Chancellor George Osborne that the Budget must focus on helping UK companies grow by improving access to finance, cutting energy costs and increasing exports. The CBI said the Chancellor should redouble efforts to increase exports. It welcomed recent moves to make export credit insurance more …
John Oates, 07 Mar 2011
The Register breaking news

Dealer credit squeeze – why it's happening and what's to be done

The average IT distributor selling product at a consistent 5% margin require additional sales of £1,000,000 to break-even for every bad debt of £50,000. This is why credit insurance is so prevalent within distribution. The IT sector is characterized by short product cycles, consistently high failure rates, and reductions in …
Brian Burke, 30 Apr 2001
channel

Northamber balks at forecasts amidst market uncertainty

Northamber illustrated the fragility of the tech market today with results that showed a slip in sales, increasing credit insurance costs and a refusal to give guidance on its future performance. The distributor managed to boost its profits for the year to June 30, which were up 5.9 per cent to £627,000, despite sales slipping 1 …
Joe Fay, 24 Sep 2008
chart

DSGi plans £310m rights issue

DSGi is looking to raise £310m through a rights issue to underwrite its continuing overhaul and offset a drying up of credit insurance. The placing was revealed as the firm, which owns PC World, confirmed a slide in revenues and forecast a loss for the year ending May 2 once charges for businesses it is closing are included. …
Team Register, 30 Apr 2009
The Register breaking news

Dealer Credit Squeeze Part 3

Part 3 Resellers and Vars have consistently taken advantage of opportunities to release cash principally through invoice discounting, factoring and where appropriate leasing and of course the traditional bank overdraft and term loans. There are costs attributable to each which have to be borne but the benefits can be …
Brian Burke, 30 Apr 2001
hands waving dollar bills in the air

DSGi sells Hungarian biz for €1

DSG international, the UK’s biggest consumer electronics retailer, today confirmed it is selling Electro World Hungary for one euro. The soon-to-be owner is called EW Electro Retail (EWH) – could it be a management buyout? – will gain all nine stores, operations and employees. Quote time from John Browett, DSGi chief exec: "We …
Team Register, 19 May 2009
channel

Intel shocks with profit warning

A month ago Intel CEO Paul Otellini didn't know "what impact the financial crisis will have on end customer demand". He does now and it's not good. Intel has cut fourth quarter revenue guidance by ten per cent, citing weakening global demand and PC supply chain inventory reduction. Instead of earning $10.1bn - $10.9bn in its …
Chris Mellor, 13 Nov 2008
The Register breaking news

PCA hackles rise over Euler Trade Indemnity

The PC Association, the UK lobby group for systems builders, is planning to debate the existence of Euler Trade Indemnity, the dominant supplier of credit insurance to the UK channel, with over 60 per cent of the market. In an email sent last week to PC Association members, executive director Keith Warburton said: "As a …
Team Register, 30 Apr 2001
Evesham Technology

Evesham left debts of £6.8m

Defunct British PC maker Evesham Technology went bust owing creditors nearly £7m, the firm's administrators have revealed. However, unsecured creditors can forget any chance of a payout because there are no "surplus funds" available. In a creditors report covering Evesham Technology, Evesham Technology Holdings and Mertec …
Kelly Fiveash, 12 Oct 2007
chart

Watford Electronics left debts of £3.5m

Watford Electronics’s stock remains in the hands of administrators, giving unsecured creditors hope of seeing some of the £3.5m they were owed when the firm collapsed earlier this week. Watford's cards had been marked since November when it released a troubling set of accounts and trade insurers started putting the squeeze on …
Mark Ballard, 09 Feb 2007
The Register breaking news

We take this minute for something really important

You'll pardon me if I don't want to send you another of my usual articles about Linux or Open Source. I'd rather not write about the alleged evils of Microsoft. I don't want to complain about the misappropriation of public intellectual property by private interests and their lawyers. That stuff seems entirely out of place today …
Jack Bryar, 12 Sep 2001
The Register breaking news

VIP attacks channel death rumour mill

VIP Computers has sent out an open letter to the industry, calling for the end of what it sees as the dog-eat-dog attitude of the IT sector. The Manchester-based components distributor warns that careless whispers following one company’s demise can often damage innocent suppliers or competitors. The letter, signed by VIP …
Linda Harrison, 20 Apr 1999