200 jobs at risk as viral publisher Unilad goes into administration

Sam Bentley

Manchester viral publisher Unilad has been placed into administration putting more than 200 jobs at risk.

Administrators at Leonard Curtis Business Rescue & Recovery are inviting offers for the web-based publishing business Bentley Harrington Ltd, which trades as Unilad.

Andrew Poxon and Andrew Duncan have been appointed as joint administrators.

Unilad has substantial social media presence, including 60 million followers, a one billion weekly reach, and four billion monthly video views across nine channels.

The joint administrators said they are seeking offers for the business in order to preserve jobs and maximise the return to creditors.

Interested parties in the company’s business or assets are advised to contact the Leonard Curtis Manchester office as soon as possible on 0161-831 9999 or email keith.turpin@leonardcurtis.co.uk

It is understood that the company employs in excess of 200 people.

Early last month it was revealed that Unilad was facing insolvency proceedings in the High Court.

The venture, one of the biggest global platforms for breaking news and shareable online content, was targeted by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

The tax man issued a winding-up petition against Unilad’s parent company in July.

Such cases are generally a result of companies failing to pay taxes.

Unless it can satisfy HMRC demands it was feared that the business could be wound up.

However, a spokesperson for Unilad said at the time: “The situation with HMRC is being resolved swiftly.”

The business is the fourth biggest publisher on Facebook.

In June this year co-chief executive and founder Sam Bentley resigned from the board and stepped down after an internal investigation into historical conduct at the company.

The site began life as a viral Facebook page founded in 2010.