The liquidators of failed retailer and operator Freedom Direct Holidays are in talks with a number of companies interested in taking over the business.

Retailer and operator Freedom Direct Holidays went into voluntary liquidation on Thursday, April 16.

Liquidators RMT blamed the company’s failure on the fact it was unable to finalise its company accounts on time to renew its ATOL licence at the end of March and as a result could not take any client money for ATOL-protected bookings from April 1.

It traded without an ATOL until its collapse, when the Civil Aviation Authority pulled its £750,000 bond.

RMT recovery and insolvency partner Mike Pott said: “The company had been restricted from receiving funds from customers from April 1, 2009, by the Civil Aviation Authority as it had been unable to submit company accounts by the deadline of March 31, 2009.

“RMT initially entered discussions with a number of parties to establish whether Freedom Direct Holidays could continue to operate, renew its bond and retain its workforce.

“We also explored a number of options, including transferring the business to another ATOL licence holder and investigating within the travel industry as to whether any other organisation was able to take the Freedom Direct Holidays business forward. Regrettably, this was not possible due to the time constraints.”

But Pott said discusssions were continuing. “There is still the possibility that another travel operator could take over the business. We are currently in discussions with a number of interested parties.”

He added that the failure illustrated how quickly a business could fail if its accounts were not available for specific deadlines.

More on 2009 ATOL renewals