Malvern Group, the parent of Super Break and Laterooms.com, went into administration yesterday (Thursday).
The company said the group had “deteriorated rapidly” following news of Cox and Kings India’s loan default a month ago, resulting in the withdrawal of any further funding for Malvern Group.
Malvern is 49%-owned by Cox & Kings Ltd, a separate company from Cox & Kings Travel Ltd UK, with the majority of the shares owned by undisclosed private investors.
The management team recently appointed KPMG to try and sell the group to ensure secure investment, and engaged with banks to secure interim funding.
Super Break, LateRooms and Malvern Travel Technology Limited have all ceased trading.
Abta said Super Break has 400 customers on holiday overseas or in the UK and 20,000 forward bookings affecting 53,000 customers.
Around 250 of those currently on holiday are overseas and are Atol protected.
Super Break is a member of Abta. LateRooms.com is not.
Reservations on LateRooms.com are thought to be secure as the hotel website acted as an agent and did not take payments for bookings.
But a notice on LateRooms’ website recommends customers to contact their accommodation supplier before their stay.
Malvern’s most recent accounts for the year ending March 2018 reported a loss of £2.26 million on a turnover of £90 million. The group employed 350 staff.
The group said: “Unfortunately, given the short time frame enabled by our cash position and despite interest from potential purchasers, we have been unable to secure bank support or a sale of the business.
“As a result, Late Rooms Ltd (LateRooms.com), Super Break Mini-Holidays Ltd (Super Break) and Malvern Travel Technology Limited are unable to continue on a solvent basis and have ceased trading.”
The company said it had “worked tirelessly to look at all available options to protect our employees, customers, trade partners and suppliers”.
Hugo Kimber, executive chairman, said: “This is a devastating blow for all of our wonderful employees who have invested so much time and effort into building Malvern, its brands and trips technology platform.
“This is equally difficult for all our suppliers, partners and customers who will be impacted by this news. To be so close to delivering our goal of an integrated, dynamic and commercially successful business, that could provide significant value through its innovative products, is heart-breaking.”
The company is inviting bids for the business and its assets.
An administrator is expected to be appointed today.
The operations of Cox & Kings Travel Ltd (UK) are not affected by the collapse.
“If you are a travel agent of Superbreak Mini-Holidays Ltd and you are currently holding consumer payments which you have not yet paid to Superbreak Mini-Holidays Ltd, you are advised not to refund consumers with these funds until you have received instructions from the Air Travel Trust.
“Travel agents will be individually contacted by the CAA with specific instructions for these bookings.
“If you are a travel agent or an Atol holder considering providing alternative holidays to consumers of Superbreak Mini-Holidays Ltd and wish consumers to assign their claim to you, in the first instance you should email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will issue you with instructions.
“Bookings which do not include a flight element are not covered by the Atol scheme and consumers should visit abta.com/superbreak.”
“The majority of holidaymakers’ package bookings are covered by Abta financial protection, while a significant proportion of other arrangements are covered by other types of protection including Atol and credit card arrangements, depending on the type of booking.
“These customers will either be entitled to a refund, or, if they’ve booked through another travel company, they should contact them to discuss options which may include continuing with their booking, re-booking or alternative arrangements.
“Customers who are currently on holiday on Abta-protected packages (rail or other non-flight packages) should be able to continue with their trip as planned, but can contact Abta if they encounter any difficulties with arrangements.
“Customers who are on holiday on Atol-protected packages (flight-based packages) should be able to continue with their trip as planned but if they encounter any difficulties should contact the CAA.
“Customers who have booked with Super Break should visit abta.com/superbreak where we have specific guidance on next steps and how to progress a claim through Abta, Atol, the consumer’s card provider or through another type of financial protection scheme, if required.”
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