Brexit uncertainty has been blamed by two UK providers of cosmetic surgery that have gone into administration.
Combine Opco and TFHC, who operated 30 clinics and hospitals across the UK, have acquired debts of £6.5m between them. The debts include £600,000 of unpaid tax and a £125,000 debt from Combine Opco owed to Bromsgrove District Council in business rates.
The two companies moved to a single entity by the procedure known as a pre-pack administration – this being the insolvency process where a company moves its assets to another owner at the same time as officially appointing administrators. When doing this, the business continues and jobs are saved, yet the downside being that debts are left behind as the company eventually goes into liquidation.
The Manchester registered, Transform Hospital Group, has acquired the businesses and all assets whilst the services continue. All staff and patients are said to be unaffected, despite the challenging conditions. All employees have been transferred to the new company.
‘’There is absolutely no impact on patients who have had, or who are due to have their surgery with us. All aftercare packages remain in place and patients should attend their scheduled appointments as usual.’’
"Brexit, causing consumer spending to decrease for discretionary, high cost items, which the company supplies, has been hard to adapt to. Alongside this, a substantial risk of unaffordable penalties linked to HMRC’s decision to deem certain services, subject to VAT, has been faced" The company said.
Opco ran 13 clinics, being registered in Surrey and working out of the Dolan Park Hospital in Worcestershire. The company formed when two other companies went into administration, in 2016. THFC ran 20 clinics, being registered in Manchester and working out of The Pines Cosmetic Surgery Hospital in Wythenshawe, Manchester. They were formed in 2015.
A spokesperson for The Transform Hospital Group confirmed the move to a pre-pack administration. ‘’Against a challenging macro-economic backdrop, this was seen as a necessary move to place the business on firm financial footing. This means we will be able to continue working with our suppliers for the long term. ‘’