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LUPC - a member of Procurement England Ltd.
LUPC attended the Swets Administration Creditors’ Committee this afternoon, and can confirm that a creditors’ committee with four members has been established. LUPC's Director Andy Davies and Senior Contracts Manager Jacquie Devonshire are both on the committee (as proxies for LUPC and one University Purchasing Consortia Member institution) and another two University Purchasing Consortia Member institutions also each have a representative.
There is unlikely to be much in the way of news for a while as investigations into the pre-payments and facilities agreement are undertaken, however we will update you when appropriate.
Further to yesterday's update, we can now provide a copy of the proxy form that Members will need to complete and return (as well as proof of debt form previously issued) in advance of next Wednesday's meeting, should you wish to attend and vote on behalf of your institution. The form can be send to Olivia Hutchinson at Baker Tilly at the email address below.
Following a conversation with the Administrator, they are keen for a creditors' committee to be established in order to investigate the position regarding the transfer of funds to the Netherlands and the pre-payments. Please see the guide to the creditors' committee.
Further to our update last week (see below), we can advise that LUPC are planning on attending the creditors' meeting at 2pm on Wednesday 17th December, as although the chances of recovering any money are still very slim, we would like to seek some answers from the Administrators for our Members in respect of the handling of funds and the "facilities agreement" referred to in the Administrator's report. Unless the Administrator can satisfactorily answer these queries at the meeting, it is likely to require the establishment of a creditors' committee, for which a minimum of 3 and maximum of 5 creditors are required. It would therefore be very helpful if you could confirm whether or not you will be sending anyone to this meeting (note - in order to vote at the meeting you need to have submitted a proof of debt form). Please contact Jacquie Devonshire, 020 7307 2770.
Please find below a letter received by one of our Members re: a Swets' creditors meeting and also the Administrator's Report. We have only just received this but, rather than delaying issue to you whilst we considered the contents, wanted to publish this for Members. We will write to Members directly if there is anything we can advise on in respect of this report, once we have had an opportunity to review.
LUPC has published a letter regarding the formation of a group to collaborate and share legal costs incurred in respect of the Swets insolvency. Please let Jacquie Devonshire know if you wish to join by close of play Friday14th November 2014.
This group will be open to LUPC, NoWAL, SUPC and NEYAL Members who wish to collaborate.
Please find below the latest Q&As re: Swets.
We included details of credit notes that we are owed by Swets in the letter sent out by VWV on 26/9. Do we therefore need to add the same information to the ‘proof of debt’ form circulated last week and return this to the administrators?
If you haven’t already received the letter with the proof of debt form directly from the Administrators you may do shortly. You should complete the proof of debt form that the Administrators have circulated and return it to them, irrespective of any information you (or VWV and LUPC for that matter) have previously provided to them as the proof of debt form is the more formal form that they use and is in a fairly standard format. If you have not yet received the letter from Administrators circulating the form yourself, please use the form attached to the letter circulated recently and of course retain a copy of your completed proof of debt form for your records.
We have several 2014 invoices from Swets that we have yet to pay. Do we:
1) Seek confirmation from the administrators that Swets has paid the supplier for the services and then pay the invoice via the new administrators account?
Unless you have either received the service or received proof that the publisher has been paid I would not recommend paying the invoices – you can request proof from the Administrators but this may take considerable time. If you have received the service to which the invoice relates or they confirm / provide proof that the relevant publisher(s) have been paid then the invoice is due and payable. However, if you are also owed money from the Administrators in respect of any pre-payments then instead of paying the invoices you can write to the Administrators to explain that you are off-setting the invoice against the monies you are owed by Swets.
2) As we are still owed credit notes by Swets, can we just list the outstanding invoices and say that we are not paying these currently as we are setting them off against a debt owed by Swets (i.e. these credit notes) – putting this in writing to the administrators?
This is dealt with by my answer above. Do not make payments if Swets owe you more money than the amount due to them but do explain to the Administrator why you are not making those payments. It may be helpful to append to the proof of debt form a list of the pre-payments that you made to Swets which should be refunded to you as well as a list of the outstanding invoices raised by Swets. You can identify on that list (1) which Swets invoices are not due for payment by you as no services have been provided or evidence provided to show the publisher has been paid and (2) which are due for payment but you will not be paying as you are off-setting that invoice against the money owed to you by Swets. The total claimed by you on your proof of debt should be the total you are owed by Swets for pre-payments LESS the invoices you are off-setting.
With respect to these invoices does it make a difference if any were issued post the appointment of Baker Tilly (9/10/14?)
In terms of any direct correspondence from publishers I understand that publishers are owed money by Swets UK with whom they have a contract and are not owed money by us.
That is correct unless you have agreed a contract directly with the publishers. However if Swets have not paid the publishers you may find that you stop receiving services.
A Word version of the Swets proof of debt form is now available for Members' convenience.
We understand a letter from the Administrators was circulated to all customers of Swets on 14 October 2014. Attached was a proof of debt form that should be completed with brief details of your claim against Swets (if you have one) and returned to the Administrators.
SUPC have set up a short questionnaire on mid-term renewals in an attempt to establish an overall picture of this, including which publishers appear to have been paid. If you are happy to collaborate and share information on this please complete the survey by following this link:
Swets Information Services Ltd (in Administration) ("Swets")
On 9 October 2014, Swets appointed David Taylor and Matthew Wild of Baker Tilly as administrators. In so doing Swets formally entered administration. A copy of the Notice of Appointment is available here.
What the appointment means
There is a moratorium on legal proceedings for the duration of the administration. This means that no legal proceedings can be started or continued without the permission of the Court or the leave of the administrators. As a result, you cannot take any direct action to recover the money that is owed to you by Swets and you will be asked in due course to set out your individual claims to the administrators, if that has not already happened.
Companies in administration are able to continue trading whilst the administrators seek to sell the company, parts of it or just the assets. The purpose of administration is to save the parts of a company that can be saved and sell them to an interested buyer, paying the proceeds to creditors.
We do not yet know what the administrators intentions are in relation to Swets although we will continue to monitor this. However, if you have not already terminated your contract,we advise that you should do so. Most contracts (including the model terms that Members may have used from our Framework Agreement) allow for this on an administration appointment. It is however important that you protect your position and secure continuity of supply and you should line up an alternative supplier if you have not already done so. Swets may have paid some providers for services and if they have then those services should continue to be supplied to you, however we cannot ascertain whether this has happened or which suppliers may have been paid.
The administrators are obliged to provide a progress report to all creditors setting out their proposals within 8 weeks of administration and they are currently undertaking a detailed investigation into Swets. This report should give an early indication of whether there is likely to be any distribution to unsecured creditors. Typically creditors only receive a few pence in the pound, possibly less. The administrators early comments that they are not optimistic that a recovery will be possible. You should however notify the administrators of any monies that are owed to you.
We will keep in touch with the administrators and will keep you informed of progress.
Address for service of notices
Swets Information Services Limited (in Administration) has a new registered office at Companies House. They are still in occupation of the Abingdon address and are receiving post there but the Administrator said that it does look locked up sometimes and some postmen are not leaving post but returning it as undelivered.
The Administrator confirmed that Notices could be sent to him at the following address:
Swets Information Services Limited (in Administration)
C/O Alison Young
Third Floor, One London Square
Account name: Swets Information Services Limited (in Administration)
Bank name: Bank of Scotland
Sort code: 80-26-66
Account number: 10036968
Our legal adviser has suggested that the address for banking reasons should be:
Swets Information Services Limited (in Administration)
Third Floor, One London Square
We will update as further information becomes available. In the meantime if you have any queries please contact Jacquie Devonshire at LUPC.