IT was an invention that gripped the imagination of millions of Dragons’ Den viewers – quite literally.
But now a firm founded by the youngest entrepreneur to secure investment on the popular BBC show is on the cusp of insolvency.
Gripit Fixings, which makes a product designed to fix heavy items to plasterboard, famously received backing from one of the show’s stars, Deborah Meaden.
She dipped into her pocket after being won over by Jordan Daykin, when he entered the den with his invention aged just 18.
He successfully secured an £80,000 investment from her for 25% of his company start-up.
The pair hoped the product would mirror other Dragons’ Den success stories, such as TangleTease hairbrushes, Trunki suitcases and Reggae Reggae sauce – not end up insolvent.
In a far cry from current insolvency challenges, at their height of popularity Gripit Fixings were stocked in more than 3,000 UK outlets and exported to 32 countries.
B&Q and Homebase stores across Yorkshire and the North East – from Bradford to Barnsley, Darlington to Doncaster, Sunderland to Scarborough – were at the heart of its retail fan base.
But as the business began to struggle this year, Mr Daykin left the company and now insolvency experts have been approached as part of a last-ditch rescue bid.
As it battles to avoid insolvency, the firm’s board are reported to have told investors it was in “a precarious position”.
The threat of insolvency loomed large after Gripit tried and failed to raise £1m in new capital by issuing new shares to existing investors.
As its insolvency struggles hit the headlines, Gripit is still listed as an investment on Ms Meaden’s website.
in response to the insolvency fears, she said: “I am pleased that the board and management team have taken quick and responsible action to address the challenges facing the company.
“I will support them in whatever practical way I can as they work towards achieving the best possible outcome for all stakeholders.”
The company has also responded to its insolvency situation, saying: “As a result of a number of specific challenges, the company has identified the need to restructure and is examining the options available to it.”
It is the second time in a week that stars of Dragons’ Den have found themselves hitting the insolvency front pages.
it has been widely reported that Peter Jones is preparing to call in administrators as he tries to salvage a future for Jessops, the High Street camera chain he bought six years ago – but which is now focused on avoiding the insolvency axe itself.
A familiar name across Yorkshire and the North East, it has stores in Leeds, York, Harrogate, Sheffield, Hull, and Gateshead Metrocentre,
Amid growing insolvency fears, there are question marks over hundreds of jobs if the Dragon cannot fire up a successful business recovery plan.
Here at Walsh Taylor, when financial difficulties arise, we’ll put time on your side.
For more information on how our licensed insolvency practitioners and business recovery teams in Leeds, Bradford, Harrogate and Darlington can help you, please call us on 03300 244 660 or email firstname.lastname@example.org