Knight Warner in administration as order is delayed

.Knight Warner,Ireland Industrial Est, Staveley, Dave Knight,left,Compay Founder & Commercial Director with Kevin Parkin,right,MD
.Knight Warner,Ireland Industrial Est, Staveley, Dave Knight,left,Compay Founder & Commercial Director with Kevin Parkin,right,MD
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Chesterfield conveyor and robotics company Knight Warner has fallen into administration after a £1.8m order was delayed.

It meant the business was unable to pay creditors and insolvency advice was sought from Duff & Phelps.

Sarah Bell and Steven Muncaster, partners at the restructuring specialist, were formally appointed as joint administrators.

They closed the business due to the lack of ongoing orders. The group’s 31-strong workforce lost their jobs but have been paid in full.

At the time of the administrators’ appointment, Knight Warner and Knight Warner Holdings owed £1.4m to unsecured creditors.

The company last year received investment from venture capital firm Enterprise Ventures and angel investors.

The managing director was Kevin Parkin, the turnaround specialist who is a former chief executive of Davy Markham in Sheffield.

He joined in January 2013 and also invested alongside founding shareholders commercial director Dave Knight and technical director Colin Powell.

Jonathan Diggines, chief executive of Enterprise Ventures, said at the time of the cash injection, Knight Warner was experiencing record levels of orders.

The funding was intended to allow the group to build its infrastructure, invest in new products and pursue its strategy of becoming a sector leader in the UK and a major international player.

The investment introduced £500,000 to assist with working capital, but competition and deferred projects meant the group was coming under increasing financial pressure.

Matters came to a head when a £1.8m order was delayed for reasons out of the group’s control.

He added: “Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of Knight Warner’s management team, these did not come to fruition and for this reason they decided to appoint administrators.

“Enterprise Ventures focuses on investing in small businesses. However, any investment carries an element of risk and unfortunately not all succeed.”

The firm operated from premises in Chesterfield and Wyboston, near Cambridge.

Administrators are in the process of raising money and expect there will be a distribution to creditors, although this is currently unquantified.

The company made conveying, handling and robotic equipment for sectors including food, beverage, canning and pharmaceuticals.