Presenting a petition and securing an immediate winding up order

The directors of 26 companies in the Thomas Cook Group presented winding up petitions to the court and asked that the notice requirements (service and advertisement) be dispensed with so that immediate winding up orders could be made.

The Group was facing an urgent cashflow crisis, exacerbated by media coverage which had damaged public confidence in the Group’s ability to trade, further impairing its liquidity. The Government had indicated it would not fund an administration, but would provide the support necessary for an insolvency process appointing the Official Receiver as liquidator, assisted by special managers.

The court was satisfied of the very real urgency for immediate winding up orders and the immediate appointment of office holders rather than there being a gap between presentation of the petition and the winding up orders being made. The court’s view was reinforced by the fact that creditors had already had an opportunity to provide financial support to the group. There was no benefit, only hardship, if the winding up orders were delayed, so the orders were made as sought.

Re Thomas Cook Group PLC [2019] EWHC 2626

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