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Unfairpak Forum - How Farepak Stole Christmas • View topic - HBoS say 'We have done nothing wrong'.....!!

Unfairpak Forum - How Farepak Stole Christmas

On Friday 13th Oct 2006 - Farepak Hampers went into administration. Over 100,000 customers were told that no food hampers or vouchers or other goods will be supplied this Christmas as promised, and no refunds! Share your thoughts here...
Winners - Scottish Polictian of the Year Award
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 3:42 pm 
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Just seen BBC News 24 with an agent (?) who made some really good points on our behalf and the newsreader spoke to a representative from HBoS (didn't catch his name) who replied that 'We have done nothing wrong...... we gave our customer who was European Home Retail and not F*****k, every opportunity and in fact supported them'.

Heard it all now :twisted:


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 Post subject: hi sarah
PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 3:55 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 10:01 pm 
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 Post subject: HBOS what did they know?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 12:23 pm 
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There is an episode in E.H.R. / Kleeneze plc recent history which is the root cause of the Farepak collapse and the company’s bankers’ attitude to it.

This episode is so extraordinary that it should be the subject of a DTI investigation.

Farepak was a profitable Xmas hamper company for years. The company bought Kleeneze plc and the combined company continued to make profits. It built up a cash pile of around £24m by 2002/3 and was seeking to buy other companies who operated via network marketing with complimentary product lines. Two targets were identified, I will call them AA and BB. It was the price paid for these companies and the terms of payment that destroyed Kleeneze’s financial base and left it beholden to its very sceptical bankers.

AA and BB were very young companies with only one profitable year of trading behind each of them. In the document given to shareholders of Kleeneze pursuant to the vote to acquire AA and BB – the accountant’s report on both companies makes it plain in the guarded language of such papers that the trading history of both was inadequate to justify the asking price of well over £30 million. The vast majority of the sum represented goodwill not tangible assets.

In effect this would have been a risky purchase with 20% of the company’s funds, but for a sum that exhausted the company’s funds and required it to borrow more money it was amazingly dangerous. The only sensible way to have proceeded was by staggered payments of not more that a quarter of the price per year based on continued satisfactory trading results from AA and BB. Yet Kleeneze agreed to pay the whole amount up front in cash! Within two years AA and BB proved to be worth only a fraction of the purchase price and on disposal or write-off Kleeneze had lost all its money. Shareholders’ funds were negative and the company was effectively in hock to its bankers. Without this loss of money Farepak would have survived the collapse of Choice, its voucher provider.

The chairman and main shareholder of the company at the time of the acquisition was Bob Johnson, Farepak’s founder and a relative of mine. Unfortunately Bob Johnson died before the company AGM that would reveal the damage done by the purchase of AA and BB. The explanation of this episode offered to shareholders by the new chairman was derisory, given its importance. The terms of the acquisition were so out of character for Bob Johnson that it easier to believe he had an ulterior motive than to believe the episode was a catastrophic error of judgement in a man never previously known to make one.

Kleeneze’s bankers cannot have been fobbed off with the non-story given to shareholders. What the banks were told needs to be made the subject of a DTI enquiry. So does the relationship of the sellers of AA and BB to anyone at Kleeneze, and even the trail of the cash paid to them should be traced to see if any found its way back to anyone at Kleeneze. It is now clear that the banks were not going to give European Home Retail [as the parent company became] any more chances or money. The banks’ attitude must have been provoked by the AA and BB episode, before that Kleeneze with its £24m cash pile were in favour.

Finally, even the actions of the Adminstrators of E.H.R. are worthy of scrutiny. On the same day the collapse was announced all the group’s businesses except Farepak were bought by Findel for £34m cash. Findel were associated in a joint venture with E.H.R. so were not outsiders. Findel’s own website described the businesses it bought as worth an unaudited £80.5m. Is this the best sale the Administrators could have made? Those people who have lost money in this collapse deserve to know what other bids were sought for the assets of E.H.R.


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 Post subject: Re: hi sarah
PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 1:32 pm 
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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 9:40 am 
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Not forgotten about you, hbos, i particularly like beano's one and only post on here. do hope they get called to the stand.

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