Friday High Five – the top stories in the North West this week

You can feel the turbulence everywhere right now.

As wars continue to rage around the globe, this country seems rudderless and restless.

Our news this week covers all manner of corporate chaos.

It was barely a year ago that St Helens Chamber was on the first King’s Award list, a regular acknowledgement of their status as one of the best Chambers in the country. 

This week they called in the administrators, and as Neil Hodgson’s excellent story explains, the award-winning membership and training organisation was hit by a ‘perfect storm’ of government cuts, Brexit, and the day to day difficulties of making a turn.

Chill winds are blowing through Manchester United too, as Sir Jim Ratcliffe calls upon his trusted consultants at Interpath to scrutinise every payment, contract and cost across the business, putting almost a fifth of the 1110 jobs at the club at risk. 

In some ways you have to respect the brass neck of Ratcliffe. He supported Brexit, but moved offshore to Monaco and Switzerland. He’s bought one of the biggest sporting brands on the planet, and he’s talking about tapping up the government to get funding to build a new stadium.

Miserable as that news is, yet again it is the enterprise and courage of our region’s business leaders that give us cause for optimism.

Advanced Medical Solutions, the Winsford-based tissue-healing technology group made good numbers and added two more European acquisitions to the group.

While Liverpool-based chemical distribution company, Meade-King Robinson, completed a management buyout (MBO) with £16m of support from HSBC UK. 

For our part, this week we’ve launched our new Rainmakers platform on Substack, where we’re taking a deeper dive into unchartered waters. 

Our first story was the wild tale about Tingo, Inc, which reads like the script for a highly implausible TV drama involving as it does, the following cast: the Nigerian agritech tycoon Dozi Mmobuosi, who tried to buy Sheffield United; the former Conservative MP and senior Freemason Sir David Trippier; and a seasoned ‘rainmaker’ and once the owner of a popular Cheshire gastropub, Darren Mercer, who retired from Tingo to spend more time with his wife, a Danish supermodel.

Next week it’s our Rainmakers conference at the Emirates Old Trafford. Hopefully we can provide some coordinates to steer you all through the storms ahead.

Have a great weekend.