The Joint Administrators of Bishop’s Move, the UK and international removals and storage group, have successfully sold the business to AGM Bishops Ltd (part of the AGM Group) as part of a multifaceted restructuring of the Bishop’s Move business.
Bishop’s Move entered administration on 17th August 2020, with Emma Thompson, Adam Stephens and Finbarr O’Connell of Smith & Williamson LLP, appointed as Joint Administrators. The business and assets of Bishop’s Move were sold shortly after the appointment of Joint Administrators to AGM Bishops Ltd. While the main trading and asset owning entities of the Bishop’s Move group have gone into administration, the remaining group companies will be placed into an appropriate liquidation procedure.
Bishop’s Move is a family-run business that has been trading for over 165 years and has more than 20 branches across the UK. It provides storage solutions and home/ business and international removals, with a strong presence in Spain and Gibraltar. Bishop’s Move claims UK prime ministers and an Archbishop of Canterbury as past customers.
Bishop’s Move has around 195 employees and staff will transfer over to the purchaser through Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) regulations (“TUPE”).
Emma Thompson, Associate Director at Smith & Williamson LLP and Joint Administrator of Bishop’s Move commented: “I am delighted that we have been able to successfully sell this long-standing removal and storage business to new owners so that the underlying business can continue and that staff will transfer over to AGM Bishops Ltd. This is a remarkable outcome in the circumstances we are currently living and working in.
“Following difficult trading conditions over the past few years, Covid-19 proved to be challenging for the group. We hope that by restructuring the Bishop’s Move group, it will allow the underlying business an opportunity to excel under new owners.
“The pre-packaged business sale which we have put together will maximise the financial return to the creditors of the Bishop’s Move group.”
Adam Stephens, Partner at Smith & Williamson LLP and Joint Administrator of Bishop’s Move commented: “We have been working closely with key pension stakeholders in the run up to the administration in order to ensure that they are willing to support our chosen pre-packaged sale solution for the business. We believe the business sale was in the best interests of the group’s pension creditors.”
Paul Evans, AGM Group Chairman & Russell Start, Managing Director at AGM Group, commented: “We are all very excited about the prospect of aligning the Bishop’s Move brand into the AGM Group of companies. The synergies between our brands are very exciting, with their heritage and commitment to high quality customer service running throughout all the distinctive areas of the businesses. We look forward to welcoming Bishop’s Move to the AGM family as we continue to deliver great service and value to our customers, whatever their moving requirements!”.
The sale of the business and assets was led and secured by Simon Underwood and Kevin Paget of Menzies and the Joint Administrators were supported by legal advisers Irwin Mitchell LLP, led by Andrew Walker. The pension stakeholders were supported by Open Trustees Ltd, led by Jonathan Hazlett.
By necessity, this briefing can only provide a short overview and it is essential to seek professional advice before applying the contents of this article. No responsibility can be taken for any loss arising from action taken or refrained from on the basis of this publication. Details correct at time of publication.
The tax treatment depends on the individual circumstances of each client and may be subject to change in future.
Notes to editors
Smith & Williamson is a leading financial and professional services firm providing a comprehensive range of investment management, tax, financial advisory and accountancy services to private clients and their business interests. The firm’s c1,800 people operate from a network of 12 offices: London, Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cheltenham, Dublin (City and Sandyford), Glasgow, Guildford, Jersey, Salisbury and Southampton. Smith & Williamson is part of The Tilney Smith & Williamson Group.
Smith & Williamson LLP is regulated by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales for a range of investment business activities. A member of Nexia International.