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Interpath Advisory Faces Losses as Middleton Family Business Collapses

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Interpath Advisory, the City firm overseeing the insolvency of the business operated by the parents of the Princess of Wales, faces a setback as it grapples with costs surpassing £260,000, rendering it unable to recover the full fees owed for the project.

Following the collapse of Carole and Michael Middleton’s Party Pieces business into administration last year, owing creditors £2.6 million, Interpath Advisory was tasked with managing the insolvency process. However, the firm encountered challenges as the realisation of Party Pieces’ assets proved insufficient to cover the advisers’ time costs, amounting to £268,928. Despite restructuring professionals charging an average hourly rate of £566, Interpath Advisory is unable to recoup the entirety of its fees.

The insolvency proceedings involved extended hours to address statutory requirements and creditor inquiries, surpassing initial expectations. While Interpath has received fees totalling £51,437 and anticipates additional recovery in the future, it acknowledges the inability to fully offset the incurred expenses.

Established by Carole and Michael Middleton in 1987, Party Pieces initially specialised in organising children’s parties before expanding into decorations and gifts. The company faced a decline in sales during the pandemic, ultimately leading to administration despite the Middletons’ efforts to secure a solvent sale by offering a dowry.

The business was sold via a pre-pack administration to entrepreneur James Sinclair for £180,000, leaving limited funds to meet obligations to creditors, including trade suppliers and HM Revenue & Customs.

Carole Middleton, 69, relinquished day-to-day management of Party Pieces in 2019, assuming the role of brand ambassador while a new management team was installed. Despite her continued directorship, the Middletons encountered challenges as they endeavoured to secure a rescue deal in spring 2023. Requests for comment from the Middletons remain unanswered.

Julie Palmer, Partner at Begbies Traynor, highlighted the unprecedented challenges faced by consumer-facing businesses in recent years, exacerbated by inflation, supply chain disruptions, and decreased consumer spending. Palmer predicts further casualties unless there is a significant and rapid improvement in the economic environment.

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