Everything Everywhere distributor Mainline bought b2b dealer The Bottom Line in an eleventh hour bid to prevent the company going under, the distributor has revealed.
The Crewe-based dealer went into administration on 18 May this year and was bought the following week in a pre-pack administration deal by Mobilise Telecoms – a company set up by Mainline chief executive Andrew Boden (see Mobile, 27 May).
The Bottom Line, which deals in Orange and T-Mobile connections, had been struggling to repay debts of over £500,000, the bulk of which were owed to Mainline. In August last year it set up a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) with its creditors to repay its debts in regular payments over a six-year period.
However, Begbies Traynor, the administrators appointed to set up the CVA, told Mobile that The Bottom Line had struggled to meet the scheduled payments after suffering ‘a number of bad debts’.
The company’s failure closely follows the liquidation of Geko Direct. At the time, Mainline revealed it had invested ‘a considerable six-figure sum’ in the company.
Mainline stressed that the purchase of The Bottom Line and the creation of Mobilise Telecoms were not linked in any way to Geko’s demise.
In a statement, the distributor added: ‘Mainline worked with The Bottom Line for a number of years and was well aware of the high quality of the organisation’s sales operation and customer base.
'Mainline had provided substantial financial support to The Bottom Line, nevertheless the business experienced cash flow issues that resulted in the operation going into administration.
‘When notified of the owners’ intention to take the business into administration, Mainline acted to protect the Everything Everywhere customer base and the jobs of the staff by acquiring the business assets and retaining the team.
‘Mainline was by far the biggest creditor. This transaction means that Mobilise Telecoms, the wholly owned Mainline business, can retain and provide high levels of service to The Bottom Line’s sizeable customer base.’