10/8/2009 11:09:00 AM
Marmalade goes bust owing nearly £2m
Mobile dealer Marmalade has cited 3’s commission clawbacks as the reason for its debt of almost £2m, after it was put into liquidation this week.
Marmalade was one of a number of dealers to sell b2b connections for 3, and was used mainly by Fone Logistics. However, rising numbers of failed b2b connections has seen 3 clawback thousands of pounds in commission from distributors and dealers in 2009.
Administrator PKF revealed Fone Logistics as one of Marmalade’s main creditors this week, along with HSC, financial house Lombard and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). Fone Logistics is claiming £419,000, HSC is owed £30,000 and financier Lombard is seeking £80,000, according to PKF. HMRC is also seeking £490,000 in unpaid VAT and National Insurance contributions.
Marmalade was formally put into liquidation this week, following a creditors’ meeting in Manchester. PKF administrator James Williams told Mobile: ‘A statutory meeting has taken place at which the creditors passed a resolution to put the company into liquidation to make the assets available to the company.’
Williams said the firm’s assets included its database, furniture and around £19,000 in cash. He said Marmalade debts to unsecured creditors are estimated at £1.9m.
Williams added: ‘A report by Marmalade’s directors states that the level of clawbacks experienced was one of the main reasons for its problems. It said it was not in a position to meet the clawbacks it was billed for.’
Fone Logistics chief executive Ian Gillespie said: ‘Since we are seeking legal advice on the situation, I am not in a position to comment.’
Fone Logistics confirmed last week it has picked up the tab for Marmalade’s clawbacks.
HSC declined to comment and Lombard was unavailable for comment.
One industry source said: ‘We all know the pitfalls of dealing with 3. Marmalade is just a casualty of 3 pushing too much of its b2b business via call centres. It was offering £500 commission per connection. The model does not work.’
3 was unavailable to comment.