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 confidential@walshtaylor.co.uk

Mary Taylor
Director

Mary began working in insolvency for a national accountancy practice in Glasgow thirty years ago and worked in most divisions of the insolvency department.

She then moved to a smaller firm so she could advance her knowledge on a more hands on basis. She moved back to Leeds in 1987 and commenced working with a small firm of accountants and subsequently made partner.

She left in 1999 to set up her own practice, McCann Taylor.
McCann Taylor became involved with the consumer market both in England and Scotland.

Mary sold McCann Taylor in March 2007 and formed Walsh Taylor to concentrate on helping businesses experiencing financial difficulties.

Kate Ellis (neé Breese)
Insolvency Practitioner

Kate has worked in insolvency since 2001 starting out at a firm of solicitors in Leeds and latterly gaining positions within two national accountancy firms.

During this time Kate gained extensive experience in all aspects of personal and corporate insolvency, for the first part of her career specializing in personal insolvency and latterly corporate.

Kate has been with Walsh Taylor since its incorporation in September 2008.

Kate is CPI and JIEB qualified, is experienced in a variety of industries and sectors and is the firm’s joint appointment taker.

Meg Heath
Director

Meg has a background in supporting SMEs, including the raising of finance and advising on organisational change. She is a non-executive director of companies in the private and third sector, including Walsh Taylor.

Previously she was Deputy Fund Director of one of the largest CDFIs in the UK, and has experience of the social enterprise, charity and private sectors. Her experience of assisting companies to survive and thrive has been gained across a broad range of sectors and in companies of all sizes.

In addition to her work at Walsh Taylor she works for other private companies, including non-executive and trustee positions.

Emma Mifsud
Insolvency Practitioner

After graduating from Leeds University in 2005 with a BA Hons degree in Criminology, Emma worked for a regional law firm in both the property department and insolvency and banking department. Whilst doing so Emma gained a Graduate Diploma in Law at BPP University.

Emma then joined a national accountancy firm in 2009 gaining experience in personal insolvency before moving to a Leeds based firm. At this firm Emma specialised in bankruptcies, IVA’s and negotiating informal agreements with creditors. In 2013 Emma gained her CPI qualification.

Since joining the firm in December 2013, Emma has taken on a portfolio of personal and corporate insolvency cases to extend her knowledge and expertise in all areas of insolvency.

In December 2017 Emma become a licensed appointment taker under the Insolvency Practitioners Association, she is JIEB qualified.

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