7/9/2009 11:40:00 AM
Chitter Chatter in legal dispute over alleged unpaid rent
Chitter Chatter has been issued with a winding up order by the Co-operative Insurance Society amid a dispute over alleged unpaid rent.
The matter is understood to be a legal dispute around property, and is expected to be settled on Monday (13 July).
A spokesman for the insurance company said: ‘Co-operative Insurance has sought a winding up petition against Chitter Chatter following a significant period of non-payment for rent on premises.’
The petition to wind up the company was presented on 19 May and a hearing is due to take place at Manchester District Registry next week. Chitter Chatter owner and MD Len Leeson is challenging the petition.
One retail and distribution source said: ‘A winding up order is quite an extreme thing to go for. They must feel there won’t be a resolution through negotiation and they are not going to get their money back. It’s a bit like putting someone in jail for a parking ticket.’
Leeson has drastically downsized Chitter Chatter in recent years, after its store estate grew to 47 sites following the acquisition of fellow T-Mobile solus retailer Ace Contact. Leeson previously had 35 stores across London and that has now fallen to nine.
Meanwhile, Mobile reported in June that the company had made a number of redundancies from its call centre in Coulsdon, Surrey.
As well as having a high street presence, the company recently launched an online venture, Bestsimdeals.com.
Leeson declined to comment on the dispute.