UK Government

Insolvency Service: High Court action to shut down five "Land Banking” companies"

Press Release   •   Dec 18, 2009 12:03 GMT

Action taken in the public interest

Pemberton International Limited

Eldon International Limited

Willow International Limited

Allied Investment Management Limited

Abacus Investment Management (London) Limited

The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills has presented petitions in the High Court to wind-up, in the public interest, five companies involved in marketing plots of land as investment opportunities.

The petitions to wind up Pemberton International Limited, Eldon International Limited, Willow International Limited, Allied Investment Management Limited  and Abacus Investment management (London) Limited (see Editors notes below) were presented following confidential enquiries carried out by Companies Investigation Branch (CIB) under section 447 of the Companies Act 1985, as amended.

On the application of the Secretary of State the Official Receiver has been appointed by the Court as provisional liquidator of the companies. The role of the Official Receiver is to protect the assets and financial records of the companies pending determination of the petitions.

As the matter is before the Court no further information will be made available until the petitions are determined. The petitions are all listed for hearing on 31 March 2010.

The application to appoint a provisional liquidator was first heard on 8 October 2009, but at this hearing the companies, through their directors (see Editors notes below), offered to give undertakings to the Court as to their future conduct and to cease trading pending the determination of the petitions. The Court accepted that these undertakings were sufficient to protect the public interest pending trial of the petitions. The undertakings however were not fully complied with and accordingly the Secretary of State returned to Court on 17 December 2009 with a further application to appoint a provisional liquidator.  The companies did not oppose this further application. The Court accepted there had been a failure to comply with the undertakings and ordered the appointment of the Official Receiver as provisional liquidator of the companies.

Ins/Coms/PIU/62

Notes to editors

1.  Pemberton International Limited was incorporated on 14 August 2003. The registered office of the company is at 50 Ellison Road, London, SW16 5BY. The sole recorded director of the company is Mr De’Rial White who is shown to have been appointed on 15 January 2009. The previous directors of the company are shown to have been Mr Omar Eshpari (from 7 April 2008 until 3 November 2008) and Mr Steven David Lawrence Tagg (from 3 November 2008 until 6 January 2009). No company secretary is shown to have been appointed in succession to Mr Carl John Pearson who is recorded as secretary from 7 April 2008 until 17 December 2008.


2.  Eldon International Limited was incorporated on 14 August 2003. The registered office of the company is at 50 Ellison Road, London, SW16 5BY. The sole recorded director of the company is Mr De’Rial White who is shown to have been appointed on 15 January 2009. The previous director of the company is shown to have been Mr Stevan David Lawrence Tagg (from 23 July 2008 until 6 January 2009). No company secretary is shown to have been appointed in succession to Mr Oliver Wilson who is recorded as secretary from 23 July 2008 until 19 January 2009.

3.   Willow International Limited was incorporated on 21 August 2008. The registered office of the company is at 50 Ellison Road, London, SW16 5BY. The sole recorded director of the company is Mr De’Rial White who is shown to have been appointed on 15 January 2009. The previous director of the company is shown to have been Mr Jose Emilio Gongora (from 21 August 2008 until 15 January 2009). No company secretary is shown to have been appointed in succession to Mr Carl John Pearson who is recorded as secretary from 21 August 2008 until 15 January 2009.

4.   Allied Investment Management Limited was incorporated on 8 October 2008. The registered office of the company is at 50 Ellison Road, London, SW16 5BY. The sole recorded director of the company is Mr De’Rial White who is shown to have been appointed on 10 October 2008. The previous directors of the company are shown to have been Mr Stefan Mitchell (from 8 October 2008 until 10 October 2008), Mr Majgan Rassoli (from 8 October 2008 until 17 November 2008) and Mr Dean Benjamin Straker (from 8 October 2008 until 17 November 2008). The company secretary of the company is Mr Stefan Mitchell who is shown to have been appointed on 8 October 2008.

5.   Abacus Investment Management (London) Limited was incorporated on 6 November 2008.  The registered office of the company is at Rutland House, 90-92 Baxter Avenue, Southend-on-Sea, Essex SS2 6HZ. The sole director and secretary of the company is Mr Ashley Cunningham who is shown to have been appointed on 6 November 2008.

6.   The petitions to wind up the companies in the public interest were presented on 29 September 2009 under the provisions of section 124A of the Insolvency Act 1986.

7.   The Official Receiver was appointed as provisional liquidator of the companies on 17 December 2009.

8.   Companies Investigation Branch, part of the Insolvency Service, carries out confidential enquiries on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS).

9.   The Insolvency Service administers the insolvency regime investigating all compulsory liquidations and individual insolvencies (bankruptcies) through the Official Receiver to establish why they became insolvent. The Service also authorises and regulates the insolvency profession; deals with disqualification of directors in corporate failures; assesses and pays statutory entitlement to redundancy payments when an employer cannot or will not pay employees; provides banking and investment services for bankruptcy and liquidation estate funds; and advises ministers and other government departments on insolvency law and practice.

10.  All public enquiries concerning the affairs of the company should be made to: The Official Receiver, Public Interest Unit ,  Tel No 0207 637 1110: Email: piu.or@insolvency.gsi.gov.uk

11.  Further information about the work of The Insolvency Service is available from http://www.insolvency.gov.uk

12.  Media Enquiries should be directed to: Lynne Nasti, Press Office Manager 020 7674 6910 or Ade Daramy, Press Officer on 020 7596 6187.

Contacts

NDS Enquiries
Phone: For enquiries please contact the above department
ndsenquiries@coi.gsi.gov.uk