Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Thursday, 31 January 2013

ExCellar Ltd in administration – a few more details emerging

 The Oddbins shop at Farringdon Street – 
bought by Baile's ExCellar and now in play once more 

A few more details on Simon Baile's ExCellar Ltd going into administration and the events leading up this are now emerging. 

It is believed that the administration order was granted by a court in Manchester. The debt owed to South West Trains, who brought a winding upon order against ExCellars for unpaid rent on the now closed Surbiton Station shop is around £25,000. ExCellar moved to a cheaper site at 18-20 Brighton Road, Surbiton, Surrey KT6 5PQ but the rent debt was not paid.

There are also rumours that a bid of £75,000 to buy the assets of ExCellars Ltd has been lodged with the administrator – Stephen Hunt of Griffins. Apparently the offer of £75,000 is described as being 'a true value of the assets of ExCellar Ltd'.  

It is possible that there may also be a bid from the current owners of Oddbins, who might decide that the large premises at Farringdon, one of the sites bought by Baile from the Oddbins' administrator, could serve as a useful distribution hub to serve their London shops. 

Trade creditors include Les Caves de Pyrene, who are owed around £100,000, and ABS Wine Agencies, who are believed to be in for a substantial amount. In the case of ABS this is off-set by some of the debt being historic from a delivery that was due to go to Oddbins at the time of the collapse that Baile then took on.

Also, hearing that administration was imminent, Mike Awin, a partner in ABS, was able on Sunday to retrieve their stock that was in the ExCellar's Fulham shop. Then on Monday he was able to negotiate with the administrators that ABS stock couldn't be moved from the Ashtead shop until retention of title can shown. Awin was bemused that it needed six people from the administrators to be present at the Ashtead shop to establish which wines had been supplied through ABS. One had travelled up from Exeter. 

I wonder how many administrators would be required to change a light bulb?                     

The shop at Farringdon Street: May 2011 during changeover from 

Jim's Loire understands from sources that on the evening of 7th December 2012 Simon Baile emptied the contents of his Paris shop at 25 Rue des Ecoles. All the stock – apparently worth around 17,000€ before tax, the fridges and display cabinets were loaded into a truck, which Baile drove back to the UK. As the wine was now due to be sold in the ExCellar UK shops in the lead up to Christmas and was not for his personal consumption, Baile doubtless declared the wine at the port of entry and paid any duty and vat due on the stock.  

Jim's Loire also understands that the employees Baile's ExCellar shop in Paris are in limbo as apparently Baile has not yet lodged the necessary paperwork – either a dépôt de bilan or a cessation de paiement –  to close the company down in France, so although the employees are not being paid they are not formally unemployed so can't receive benefits. There will be a hearing before the Conseil de prud'hommes on 6th February. One of the employees has worked for the company for 32 years – originally for Simon Baile's father Nick. 

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