Thierry's in debt to the tune of £5.5m, administrator reveals

15 February, 2013

A report into the financial affairs of Thierry’s Wine Services shows it owed just over £5.5 million to unsecured creditors when it entered administration in early December.

The report, prepared by administrator Nedim Ailyan of Abbott Fielding, lists Tesco as one of the biggest trade- creditors, being owed just short of £147,000.

The biggest single trade creditor is Bordeaux supplier Producta Vignobles, which was owed £1.1 million.

Other notable creditors included Beaujolais co-operative Signe Vigernons, which had an unpaid debt of £157,000 and had issued a winding-up petition against Thierry’s in October.

Champagne house Nicolas Feuillatte was owed £528,000, Nuits St Georges- based Rodet £422,000 and Viña Casa Silva of Chile £341.000. Also listed are Gerard Bertrand of Narbonne (£237,000), La Marca of Veneto (£209,000) and La Coterie of Beaumes de Venise (£173,000).

The administrator’s report points to a contract dispute with Tesco concerning promotions on Nicolas Feuillatte, in February 2012, as a catalyst for Thierry’s problems.

The report states that the contract originally agreed that Tesco would run the product on promotion for 80% of the time and the remainder at its rrp.

“In reality, Tesco kept the product on offer for 98% of the time and only sold  at rrp 2% of the time,” said the report.

It claimed that this had resulted in a margin shortfall for the supermarket chain which had then asked Thierry’s to pay a margin support fee of £1.7 million. Thierry’s refused and its contract was ended. The report states that the Tesco contract ”represented 33% of the company’s gross margin”, the loss of which led to the bank reducing Thierry’s lending facility.

Retailers the Co-operative Group, Majestic, Marks & Spencer, Martin McColl, Nisa, Oddbins, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Tesco Ireland are also listed as unsecured creditors with debts ranging from £35 to £13,000.

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