Beer52 box

Beer52 has picked up the assets and employees of Eebria, but not its obligations to creditors

A deal for stricken craft beer distributor Eebria – which could have seen all its creditors repaid in full – collapsed in December last year.

Subsequently, the business was sold in a pre-pack administration to Beer52 for just £30,000, according to a document sent to creditors of the business and seen by The Grocer.

The Statement of Insolvency Practice (SIP) 16 document revealed Eebria was first advised by insolvency practitioners Crowe LLP in March 2023, with a sale without entering administration initially anticipated.

At this stage, a full-scale marketing of the business as for sale was “considered to be to the detriment of the company and its creditors”, its eventual joint administrators Paul Ellison and David Taylor, of KRE Corporate Recovery, wrote.

Instead, the business was advertised discreetly to protect the value of its assets and intellectual property “comprising its goodwill and the online trading platform”, they said.

An unidentified buyer agreed to purchase Eebria’s shares and provide “full repayment to all creditors” in May 2023, but withdrew from the sale process in December 2023.

Subsequently, SIA Group was engaged and instructed to negotiate a pre-pack sale, initially once again on a discreet basis.

Read More: Why pre-pack administrations have left drinks suppliers raging

“This significantly reduces the risk of supply partners withdrawing their products from the company’s online trade platform, which would impact upon the company’s ability to trade and significantly affect the value of the business,” Ellison and Taylor said.

It was agreed that if no offers were made by 12 January 2024 that the opportunity would be widely broadcast in order to “obtain a value for the business that would otherwise be lost in the alternative of liquidation”, the administrators added.

Two offers, one of £10,000 (from Craft Beer Holdings/Beer52) and one of £75,000 were received. After discussions, the offers were revised to £50,000 and £30,000.

Beer52’s offer was “considered by SIA to be in the best interests of all parties”, according to the administrators.

Following their appointment, the appointed administrators completed the sale for a total consideration of £30,000 on 19 March.