Building Supplies Online (“BSO”) was an online distributor of building products, offering competitively priced building supplies and tools to trade and retail customers. Offering over 50,000 products on the website, BSO offered one of the largest ranges of building products available online in the UK. BSO operated exclusively via the online platform and had received over £650k in investment. The site generated 4.8m visitors per year and received more than 8,000 orders per month.
Hilco Valuation Services Europe & Hilco Streambank Europe (“Hilco”) were initially retained by Building Supplies Online (“BSO”) to value the company’s stock, chattel assets and intellectual property (“IP”). After the Joint Administrators David Shambrook and Sarah Cook of FRP Advisory Trading Limited were appointed, Hilco was engaged to run a sales process for the available assets. Our team firstly conducted an accelerated sale process for the plant and machinery assets within a pressurised timeframe to exit the site.
Following a sale of the chattel assets, there were doubts from the company as to whether the material value attributed to the BSO IP as part of Hilco’s valuation was actually achievable from a standalone sale or merely a theoretical indication of value. Our team held firm in their views however and advised the Joint Administrators to instruct Hilco to market the IP assets as part of a break-up sale. Such was our team’s confidence in their valuation opinion, they were willing to accept the disposal engagement on a wholly-contingent basis.
Capitalising on Hilco’s extensive experience in selling intellectual property assets from distress, our team executed a bespoke sales process, highlighting and preserving the value of the IP assets. Overall, outreach was directed to several hundred interested parties, with c. 20 parties expressing a serious interest in the opportunity. Following a competitive bidding process and receipt of five offers, Hilco secured a buyer for the assets, generating a six-figure return for creditors.
Throughout our engagement, our team demonstrated Hilco’s multi-asset class expertise, leveraging often forgotten asset classes to generate significant value for our clients beyond what was initially expected as part of the exercise.
Commenting on the sale of Building Supplies Online, Hilco Valuation Services Managing Director, Peter Atkinson, said: “At Hilco, we pride ourselves on the experience and flexibility of our team to design and deliver a sales process that extracts maximum value. Our clients can trust that we will explore all avenues of value relating to the assets in hand and scope out buyers to maximise return.”
Hilco Streambank Director, Jack Gillespie, added: “We are often finding opportunities to leverage digital assets following the liquidation of the stock and chattel assets in a business. BSO is a prime example of how our expertise can squeeze additional value from a case that many other agents would miss. Further, BSO demonstrates the importance of conducting IP valuations early into engagements so to ensure insolvency practitioners understand the full picture when it comes to asset realisations from the outset.”
David Shambrook, Partner at FRP Advisory, commented: “We were delighted with the service and expertise offered by Hilco in relation to Building Supplies Online. Hilco led the entire suite of break-up sale exercises, utilising expertise across a number of teams while delivering consistent client updates. Equally impressive was Hilco’s initial valuation work, which prove to be a highly accurate reflection of the eventual realisations.”
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