Choccywoccydoodah is in talks to sell its brand to a former shareholder to help pay off its £600,000 debts.
The quirky Brighton chocolatier went bust in May last year due to increased costs and declining margins.
It owed £595,549 to a string of creditors including customers, staff, suppliers, landlords, the city council and the taxman.
The latest liquidators’ report, written by Quantuma LLP, says one of the company’s shareholders has made an offer to buy Choccywoccydoodah’s goodwill.
Goodwill is a company’s intangible assets, and includes a company’s brand name, reputation, customer base and sales leads, etc.
Just before the company went into a liquidation, an offer of £60,000 plus had been made, and provisionally accepted.
But, the report says, “the transaction did not proceed following further enquiry and review by the prospective purchaser.
“The liquidators continued in their efforts to achieve a sale of the goodwill, together with [commercial estate agents] Lambert Smith Hampton. However no further offers were received.
“During June 2020, the liquidators were approached again by a former shareholder of the company who expressed an interest in purchasing the goodwill.
“These discussions are ongoing and the liquidators are unable to provide any further information at this stage.”
The directors initially paid Quantuma £5,000 to cover the costs of liquidation on the basis that this would be repaid out of the proceeds of any goodwill sale.
The report also says that the company’s employees have been receiving payments from the Redundancy Payments Service, which are estimated to total almost £190,000.
Meanwhile, the company’s former shop in Meeting House Lane has been on the market since last December. It’s being advertised by Graves Jenkins for rent at £50,000 per year.
The identity of the former shareholder was not disclosed in the report.
The original shareholders were company founders Christine Garratt and Christine Taylor.
However, from 2011 the pair sold shares in the company to John Vincent, Gideon Lask and Paul Chiappe.
In 2016, the law was changed so it was no longer a requirement to list shareholders, only people with significant control of a company.
Ms Garratt and Ms Taylor were both approached for comment.