Outside broadcasting company Arena Television collapsed at the end of 2021 with debts of £280 million amid allegations of fraud.
The company’s administrators have found virtually no broadcast equipment since Arena ceased trading in November, according to an official document published by Companies House.
It adds that Arena secured more than £290 million against assets which are now believed to have never existed. The document states that 55 lenders are owed money relating to broadcast assets – with the likes of HSBC, Lloyds and NatWest among the company’s lenders.
Arena founder and owner Richard Yeowart is believed to have left the UK before administrators were appointed and currently can’t be found by administrators or authorities.
The document by administrators Kroll reveals they attempted to recommence trading trading during the first few days of administration, but this was “not feasible due to the abrupt cessation of trading which had caused customers to seek alternative arrangements”.
Kroll also attempted to sell Arena Television, but were unable to agree a package with interested parties. Instead, they state the intention to break up and sell the company’s broadcasting assets during 2022.
At the time of the collapse, Arena Television employed 63 members of staff principally based at its offices in Redhill.
The report from Kroll reveals that immediately prior to the company’s collapse, an asset verification exercise was taking place a the request of one of the company’s lenders. While attempting to verify the serial number on a with an equipment manufacturer, the person undertaking the exercise was told no such serial number existed. It appears this was when the directors decided to cease trading.