A quick response, sharing of information and experience in distressed scenarios enabled Hickman Shearer to gain control and sell assets for multiple lessors at Vashi liquidation.
Vashi had been one of the fastest growing brands in the UK when in April 2023, a winding-up order forced Diamond Manufacturers Limited, trading as Vashi, into insolvency. The diamond manufacturer and retailer, which specialised in fine bespoke jewellery, had opened high-end boutique stores across London including the flagship store in Covent Garden, with further store openings planned for New York.
The insolvency left behind the contents of 5 retail outlets, a high-profile London West End office and a modern jewellery manufacturing facility.
The vast majority of the contents of the premises were owned by the equipment lessors, who having funded the business less than 2-years ago, were left with a material shortfall. The insolvency also left them with significant challenges in asset identification, rent arrear issues and asset realisation.
Within a few weeks, Hickman Shearer had control of the assets and agreed a collective strategy with all stakeholders to sell them.
As James Fox, Head of Leasing Services at Hickman Shearer said:
“The position of a lessor in an insolvency can be a mixed experience as they often struggle to either obtain payment for the ongoing use of their asset or to repossess it to realise the debt. Lack of access and poor communication with the insolvency practitioner is often common, leading to a frustratingly fraught journey and a sub-optimal outcome for the lessor.”
He continued: “However, given a clear and pragmatic strategy, the opportunity of an improved outcome exists. Here’s a good case study illustrating how Hickman Shearer gained control and maximised the outcome for lessors.”
The Hickman Shearer strategy was effective because it involved moving quickly, while working close with all the relevant stakeholders. The resultant common strategy ensured information was frequently shared, giving Hickman Shearer the opportunity to apply their knowledge and experience in dealing with distress and insolvency.
The result of which was that the strategy maximised the financial outcome by:
This culminated in maximum realisation for the lessor, as the lessor led the process while the sale was managed by an auctioneer with complete focus on the lessor. To illustrate, these Auction headline statistics illustrate the success of adopting this approach: