EBD creditors report may provoke DTI investigation

The directors of Edward Briscoe Design are facing possible investigation by the Department of Trade and Industry after the company was made insolvent in July with debts of more than £300 000.

Liquidators were appointed at an EBD creditors meeting, held on 25 August, to draw up a report into the company’s dealings between November 1998 and July this year. The report will be submitted to the DTI.

EBD took on Henry Colver and Ken Greenway from Mainline Promotions as company directors in November 1998.

According to a report given to creditors, “strategic consultant” Eddie Ashby was also involved with the new directors. Ashby had previously served time in prison for breach of bankruptcy laws and is banned from holding a company directorship for a nine year term which started in 1996.

The report says: “Mainline Promotions promised to provide significant working capital, around £300 000, for EBD to operate.”

Greenway says he paid some creditors during his nine months as a director, but admits failing to pay the Inland Revenue. The company was legally obliged to do so before paying anyone else.

“No accountant or solicitor advised us when we bought the company. Only Eddie Ashby was advising us,” claims Greenway.

Ashby refuses to comment on his dealings with EBD. “I’ve had years of these wild accusations and I’m not going to respond to them anymore,” he says.

Roger Marsden, Edward Briscoe International Group director from 1971 to 1997 and managing director from May to November 1998, became EBD operational director in November 1998, before resigning on 25 February, along with Ted Briscoe.

“We didn’t get answers to our questions at the board meeting and it became clear there was no money there to support the group,” says Marsden, who lost £19 000 worth of shares in the group and is still owed £6000.

Briscoe describes the demise of EBD as “bittersweet”. “Ideally, the DTI will now pursue these gentlemen for the hardship caused to former employees, creditors, suppliers and shareholders of EBIG and EBD,” he says.

Briscoe intends to establish a new group, specialising in brand communications, integrated with digital media.

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