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Barr Ellison Solicitors – commercial property
2 June, 2016 - 13:27 By Kate Sweeney

The Solar Cloth Company set for sale out of administration

solar cloth, administration

Cambridge startup The Solar Cloth Company could be bought out of administration by the end of this week.

A former director and an ex-shareholder are understood to have submitted offers and administrator Gerald Irwin told Business Weekly he was confident a rescue was imminent.

Five staff were laid off at the solar technology business at the end of April. A request to the administrator, Irwin Insolvency, for the level of debt remained unanswered at the time of writing.

The company was marketing – and claiming lucrative deals for – a flexible photovoltaic fabric which it said could harvest the sun’s rays. The technology was said to have been 10 years in development when the enterprise was launched in 2014.

Some UK media were reporting that the company had signed lucrative deals worth up to £65 million but the company’s financial reports show no trace of any significant cash generation.

On the contrary investors are said to be blazing after almost £1 million raised on the Crowdcube crowdfunding platform appeared to have been eaten up in under 18 months ahead of the company collapse. Four hundred investors piled into that round, one – whose identity has not been disclosed – contributing £500k.

It is understood that this same individual put another £400k into the pot separate to the Crowdcube raise. All the investors in the crowdfunding exercise lose their cash with no legal comeback.

Administrator Gerald Irwin said part of the reason for the company’s demise was the withdrawal of Government subsidies that would have made buying the technology an attractive proposition for customers.

He said: “Our role is to sell the assets of The Solar Cloth Company and we have advertised the opportunity over the last three weeks.

“We have already received two expressions of interest – one from a former director and another from a former shareholder  – and could complete a sale this week.”

While expressions of interest were still being invited, he declined to speculate on a potential purchase price. Business Weekly pointed out to the administrator on June 1 that the stricken company’s website was still up and running with no notification that it was in adminstration.

The website has since been taken down “taken offline for maintenance.”

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