Chorion, a family entertainment provider and owner of such brands as Noddy, Mr Men and Paddington Bear has been forced into administration after failing to renegotiate a £70m debt mountain.
Lord Alli and William Astor, Chorion’s chairman and deputy chairman, have already tendered their resignations as a result of this failure whilst DC Advisory Partners have been appointed to oversee the sale of the business.
This is likely to see the firm’s assets broken up and sold off to the highest bidder as lenders - principally Bank of Ireland, GE Capital and Lloyds - seek to recoup their investments.
A range of bidders are expected to vie for the assets, which include the Agatha Christie franchise, Paddington Bear, the Famous Five and Beatrix Potter.
These include Disney, Hasbro, Viacom and other children’s entertainment providers.