Administrators from Leonard CurtisBusiness Rescue & Recovery have been appointed to take over the affairs of Paragon. They said: “The joint administrators are seeking offers for the business in order to preserve jobs and maximise the return to creditors. It is understood that the company employs in excess of 90 people.”
Alan Hardy said yesterday evening: “I can confirm that administrators were appointed to Paragon Interiors Group Plc earlier today. The directors met with the administrators this afternoon to discuss a range of scenarios, including the proposed sale of the business. All parties, including myself, are now working very closely with the administrators to achieve the best possible outcome for all parties and people affected by this situation.”
Doubts and fears spread beyond the construction industry because Alan Hardy also owns Notts County Football Club, the oldest professional football club in the world. Currently propping up the bottom of League Two, if Paragon administrators call in the £7m debt that the club owes to Paragon, it could spell the end of the club, fans fear. However, reports suggest that the loan to the club was made by Paragon Leisure, a separate Alan Hardy vehicle, not Paragon Interiors.
In an attempt to reassure the club’s supporters, he posted a message on the Notts County website earlier this week, saying: “Further to recent speculation about the financial performance of Paragon Interiors Group PLC and any impact this may have on Notts County Football Club, I want to assure supporters that the club will not be affected.
“In the coming days I expect to receive a formal offer to purchase the club from an overseas consortium and more updates will follow in due course. In the meantime, I will continue to support the club as best I can while dealing with a very difficult and stressful situation at Paragon.”
The demise of Paragon has not come as a total surprise. Accounts for Paragon Interiors Group plc have been overdue since 31st December. Latest filed accounts, for the 15 months to 30th June 2017 (due to a change in the company’s accounting period) show turnover of £62m and an operating loss of £291,000, compared to £2.8m profit for the previous 12-month period. They also show £18m owed to trade creditors.
An email sent to staff this week, before the company entered administration, and published by the local Nottinghamshire Live website, said: “Guys, I appreciate you are all hungry for information and I promise you that I'm doing everything I can to preserve jobs and pay wages this month.
"Currently, despite best efforts from many people in collecting cash, we still aren't in a position to pay salaries tomorrow. However, my complete time, effort and energy will be focused on correcting this situation as soon as possible. I will provide a further update as soon as I possibly can."
Anyone with an interest in Paragon's business or assets is instructed to contact Leonard Curtis adminiistrators on 0161 831 9999 or email email@example.com.