Mr Batchelor has signed a disqualification undertaking after an investigation by the Insolvency Service’s Disqualification Investigation Team in Manchester into his conduct whilst a director of Moornate Chemists Limited (“Moornate”) and The Besglos Polish Company Limited (“Besglos”). He and the connected companies benefited from the transfer of funds between these companies at the expense of their creditors.
The hygiene and cleaning products firms both started trading in the 1960s. Mr Batchelor was not formally appointed as a director of Moornate, and was a formally appointed director of Besglos for three days, but he did direct the overall strategy of those firms in early 2007 when he took control of them. Both companies entered into Administration in the summer of 2007 with combined deficiencies to creditors totalling more than £750,000.
In the disqualification undertaking signed by him and accepted by the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (formerly Trade and Industry), Mr Batchelor does not dispute that he caused the companies to enter into transactions which were to the detriment of the companies’ creditors.
The misconduct is primarily concerned with both companies making payments to Mr Batchelor personally. These payments totalling about £50,000 were made between 12 June 2007 and 06 August 2007 at a time when he knew that the companies were insolvent.
Furthermore Mr Batchelor took control of each company by utilising their funds to buy their own shares. This in itself was not illegal, but the structure of the acquisitions, was detrimental to the creditors of the companies concerned, and to the benefit of Mr Batchelor’s connected companies, which were taking over the businesses. Mr Batchelor took over Besglos on 28 March 2007 and placed it into Administration on 07 August 2007, and Moornate on 30 April 2007, placing it into Administration on 26 July 2007.
The investigation team in Manchester obtained the information used in the proceedings from various sources and spent over eight months investigating the affairs of the companies.
The disqualification means Mr Batchelor will be banned from either acting in the management of any company or from being appointed a company director, or in any way controlling a company, until 20 December 2016. If he breaches the undertaking he may be prosecuted.