Manchester Confidential and How Do publisher temporarily escapes winding up order
The publishing company that owns Manchester Confidential and How Do, has escaped a winding up order this week.
The Drum has learned from The Insolvency Service that the company will not be wound up following a hearing at the High Court in London on Monday 16 January, attended by founder and sole director Mark Garner, following a petition issued by HMRC.
Garner acquired the assets of Planet Confidential after it entered voluntary liquidation last February.
It is understood that Cpub, one of the divisions of the company, previously reported as being the holding company, is a subsidiary that employs sales and editorial staff. Meanwhile How Do ltd owns the brands for How Do and its sister property website, Place North West.
The total liabilities Planet Confidential owed creditors is reported to have been £407,720, which included Garner.
Late last year the company expanded to launch Confidential London and also merged with How Do and Place North West.
However, according to a piece carried by How Do following the merger, "the further the Confidential title wandered away from its Manchester base and its alter ego Mark (Gordo) Garner, the harder the title found it to engage meaningfully with city audiences - and subsequently make money".
Garner told The Business Desk last week that the hearing was a case of "post-merger house-keeping" and said that the company was “moving forward strongly and in profit".
Updated: A source close to the process has informed The Drum that the winding up order has been delayed until 5 March, as Garner has requested a meeting with the company's creditors, taking place on 16 February, where it is expected that he will propose either a voluntary agreement, or will propose that the company enters voluntary liquidation. It is understood that should the creditors not agree to Garner's proposals, then the company will be wound up in March.
Garner told The Drum on 25 January that a decision on the future of Cpub would be made in the coming days, which could see it wound up entirely, but that brands such as How Do and Place North West would be around for the foreseeable future, and that the Confidential brand would definitely survive.