The taxman has emerged as the biggest loser from the collapse of Threshers owner First Quench Retailing, as it owes £13.7m in unpaid alcohol duty.
Another big corporate creditor to First Quench Retailing is drinks giant Diageo, with is owed more than £1.9m, according to documents filed by administrator KPMG. Some £1.35m of that was owed to Percy Fox, one of Diageo’s wine wholesaling subsidiaries.
Wine shippers are also among the top creditors, with Hatch Mansfield Agencies – a joint-venture between the Louis Jadot, Errazuriz and Villa Maria wineries – owed £805,623, and Mentzendorff, a 150 year-old London-based company, owed £490,760.
FQR collapsed in October and administrator KPMG has been trying to offload its 1,200 stores but the difficult investment market meant it has only sold 90 so far, leading to the closure of hundreds of shops.
Other creditors include Scottish & Newcastle UK, owed £452,928, Pernod Ricard £452,327, Carlsberg UK £293,979 and First Drinks Brands £240,418. The list also includes some surprises, including Ice Cream World, the UK’s biggest distributor, owed £93,531 and GlaxosmithKline £89,998.
Any returns to creditors remain unclear. According to the KPMG report, FQR’s directors estimated the stock was recoverable at 70% of book value.