The Flying Corkscrew Ltd was founded on 4th February 2016. Its sole director Ingrid Johnson (DOB: January 1963. Share capital is £1 and held by Paul Johnson.)
Paul Johnson is the sole surviving director of The Great Gaddesden Wine Company Ltd, which was founded on the 9th January 1995. In 2002 The Flying Corkscrew shop was opened as part of the Great Gaddesden Wine company. It won several International Wine Challenge merchant awards.
The Prinsloos met Paul Johnson at the 2015 Salon des Vins de Loire in Angers. He placed a first order and the Prinsloos were very pleased to have found a UK importer. They were less pleased when the order wasn't paid until seven months after the due date.
Johnson was at the Loire Salon the following year when he apologised for the delay in payment, promised that this would not happen again and asked to place a new order (see above), which was honoured but payment is now more than a year outstanding.
The Vieux Pressoir are not only Loire producer to experience problems with the Johnsons and their companies.
Philippe Gilbert (Domaine Philippe Gilbert in Menetou-Salon) told me: 'Cette boître est bizarre et c'est un vraie problème (this is a bizarre company and a real problem). Already a year ago I was contacted by colleagues in Muscadet who asked whether I was having difficulty getting paid. I am very happy to say that I haven't worked with them for some time. It took them a year to pay their last bill.'
Looking at the accounts for The Great Gaddesden Wine Company Ltd you would think that Johnson would have been aware that it might well be a problem paying for the wine he ordered from Le Vieux Pressoir in early 2016. From the invoice the order was placed with The Flying Corkscrew, the trading name of The Great Gaddesden Wine Company Ltd.
Normally a company can stop a striking off action by filing the overdue set accounts or confirmation statement (previously the annual return). If the action is suspended this is usually at the request of a creditor.
Anyone considering trading with Ingrid Johnson and/or Paul Johnson or their companies – The Great Gaddesden Wine Company Ltd and The Flying Corkscrew Ltd – should be aware that they may not get paid.
(Anyone wishing to check on a UK limited company or plc should use Companies House Beta Service, which provides all filed information for free.)
Update 12th July 2017
Payment problems with Paul and Ingrid Johnson's companies – The Great Gaddesden Wine Company Ltd and the Flying Corkscrew Ltd – go back further than I had realised – clearly back to 2008 – as a comment posted on Les 5 du Vin blog shows:
Thierry Rodriguez, a producer in the Languedoc
'I have had the same problem with this company in 2008. The invoice dated November 2008 was finally paid in July 2010 after the intervention of the Comercial Mission at the French Embassy.'
Thierry Rodriguez (Prieuré de Saint Sever) is a producer (the 20-ha Mas Gabinele established in 1998) and négociant based in Laurens in the Languedoc. Details here.
Update 16th July 2017
The overdue accounts to 30th June 2016 were filed at Companies House on 14th July 2017. The strike-off action has now been discontinued.