Norton Motorcycles (UK) Limited is reported to have entered administration along with two other companies headed by Stuart Garner, who revived Norton in 2008.
Accounting group BDO has been appointed administrator of Norton Motorcycles (UK) Ltd, Donington Hall Estates and the Priest House Hotel, all elements of Garner’s business empire. They now face the task of establishing how best to serve Norton’s creditors’ interests, and there’s likely to be a period of assessment before any decision is made about whether to keep the businesses running or close them and sell their assets.
Norton is believed to employ around 100 people at its factory on the Donington Hall site. On January 8 this year the firm faced a winding-up petition over around £300,000 of unpaid taxes. Representatives appeared at a hearing in London in front of Insolvency and Companies Court Judge Sebastian Prentis. At that hearing, HMRC told the judge that payments were being made, so the case was adjourned until February 12.
The court heard that Norton originally owed about £600,000 to HM Revenue and Customs, and had cleared half of the debt. Norton also said that the remaining amount would in part be covered by £135,000 in research and development tax credits that are currently waiting for HMRC approval.
According to records at Companies House, accounts for the Priest House Hotel, another of Garner’s businesses, have been overdue since the end of November.
In its last set of published accounts, for the year ended 31 March 2018, Norton Motorcycles (UK) Limited’s accountants, HSKS Greenhalgh expressed concerns, revealing a pre-tax profit of £33,701 and liabilities that outstripped its assets to the tune of £3,384,200. They said “these conditions, along with the other matters… indicate that a material uncertainty exists that may cast significant doubt on the company's ability to continue as a going concern.”