Envelope specialist liquidation set to hit ISG for £14m

ISG is in line for a £13.9m hit following the liquidation of one of the UK’s largest envelope specialist brands.

Private equity-backed Clarison Group was renamed TGCL 2024 Ltd at Companies House in March and filed a notice of liquidation this week.

£85m-turnover Clarison was formally launched in 2021, joining together four British and Irish facade and architectural glazing companies: Alucraft Systems, English Architectural Glazing (EAG), Alucraft and Williaam Cox.

Private equity investors Elaghmore acquired the Alucraft and Williaam Cox companies in 2018 and EAG in 2019.

Alucraft Systems, which delivered glazing on Everton FC’s new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock in Liverpool (pictured), went into administration in April. Warwickshire-based Elaghmore was owed £19.1m by Alucraft Systems when it went under. Insolvency specialist PwC estimated that the private equity fund would not recover any of the money owed.

An Elaghmore spokesperson said this week that the Clarison Group’s voluntary liquidation was part of an ongoing restructure that started in the wake of the Alucraft Systems administration.

The Clarison Group brand is being discontinued as part of the changes.

The spokesperson added: “The three remaining businesses which make up the group – Alucraft Ltd (Ireland), Williaam Cox Ltd (Ireland) and EAG Ltd (UK) – are all trading profitably and are not affected by this step.”

A statement of affairs posted to Companies House shows the Clarison Group owes £15.4m to creditors, with insolvency specialist Begbies Traynor estimating none of the cash will be paid back.

The majority of the total – £13.9m – is owed to ISG Construction.

Other creditors include Clarison Group chief executive Aidan Williamson, who is a shareholder in TGCL 2024 and is owed £291,000, according to the statement.

Asked about Willimson’s role given the Clarison Group no longer exists, the spokesperson said he was still with the company and would remain so while the restructure is carried out.

Asked if there could be an effort to pay back creditors from other businesses, they said: “The liquidator is in the process of investigating the creditors’ claims and the amount of assets available. We will need to await their findings.”

Earlier this year, the Clarison Group reported a £6.9m pre-tax loss despite growing turnover by 45 per cent to £84.9m, in accounts for the 12 months to 31 December 2022. It made a £4.7m pre-tax loss in the prior year. Directors said a “substantial” amount of the 2022 loss was attributable to the impact of the Covid pandemic.

According to its latest accounts it employed around 350 people throughout 2022.

ISG has not responded to requests for comment.

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