Failing school revived

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A team comprising of members of Restructuring and Insolvency (Southampton and Cardiff), Charities and Education (Southampton and Oxford), Built Environment and Property Litigation (Southampton) at Blake Morgan recently acted on a sale to rescue a well-established independent school from the brink of closure, just days before the start of the autumn term.

The school had been run by our client, a charity trust which experienced long-term cash-flow difficulties and was desperately in need of large scale investment to continue. During the summer break, the trust found a potential private-equity backed buyer with a passion for expanding into the education sector and growing the school. The terms for a sale of the business and assets of the trust were quickly negotiated in view of the impending new term. The school's premises were subject to a long lease and the deal was incumbent upon landlord's consent which was successfully secured by the trust and the buyer with our help.

The deal critically preserved continuity of education for the pupils as well as all staff jobs and also maximised the return to the creditors (including the bank) compared with a closure outcome. The trust will now be wound down by liquidators so that all residual company matters can be dealt with.

In view of time constraints, our work on this matter had to be concluded quickly. The team's expertise on insolvency, charities and educational aspects of the transaction also guaranteed compliance by our client, the trust making the sale, particularly from a charity law perspective.

Our work on this matter represents a multi-discipline approach to implementing solutions quickly and efficiently for our clients and is a good example of how a business can be restructured prior to a formal insolvency to the benefit of various stakeholders.

For more information on this case study please contact any member of the Business support and insolvency group for details of our service and expertise generally.