SFP action helps preserve security firm

SFP action helps preserve security firm

Some may imagine that security is one area of the service sector where companies will continue to thrive even when the economy is struggling.

After all, one may reason, even if properties are vacated by businesses they still need looking after, while there are certain types of crime – such as metal theft – that have been very prominent in recent years, with everything from lead roofs to railway cables at risk.

But this did not prove to be the case for property Protection GRP (UK) ltd, a company based in the Essex Town of Brentwood with a number of local contracts.

Clearly, there was not enough business coming onto the firm's books from the area and this led the company into financial trouble.

Earlier this month, Property Protection went into administration, with SFP taking charge on January 19th. Partners Daniel and Simon Plant were appointed joint administrators on that date.

The situation involving the company was not as severe as some. In the case of a firm that has ceased trading, the best that may be managed on many occasions is a sale of assets. But SFP worked swiftly to ensure the preservation of the company. They were able to negotiate with an interested party and complete a sale.

Simon Plant said: "It was unfortunate that Property Protection GRP (UK) Limited struggled due to a lack of cashflow at a critical time. However, we managed to secure a sale of the business as a going concern, ensuring the preservation of jobs and continuity of supply for its customer base."

This outcome may offer a good example of why small businesses who do find themselves in severe financial trouble might wish to call in the administrators before matters get so bad that a cessation of trading takes place, with the opportunity to preserve the company name, its customer base and the livelihoods of the people who work for it.

Of course, once a going concern is sold on that is not the end of the story. A glance at the Property Protection web address simply confirms that it is registered for the firm, with one task the new owners will face being to build an online presence to help the company thrive in the future. But the potential for new capital investment in the enterprise could help ensure that and all other necessary measures can be taken.

One man who has noticed the importance of this is Dr Andrew Sentance, a former member of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee and now the senior economic advisor to PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Commenting for the BBC On the Money podcast, he remarked: "Online spending is increasing very strongly. Consumers are starting to change the way in which they are conducting their spending and that is having an impact on established businesses like Blacks and Millets."

How much of an impact a better online presence may be in developing Property Protection GRP remains to be seen, but it could be their local focus was too narrow to bring sufficient custom and income, meaning a wider reach is part of the solution.

However, the first part of their road to new beginnings was the one many a struggling company may take; bringing in administrators like those at SFP who can quickly negotiate and conclude a sale.

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