Store First Latest – Official Receivers Agree Sale of Assets

17 January 2020

By PCC Blog Team

Official receivers have agreed a sale of some assets following the winding up in April last year of Store First Limited and 3 related companies, including SFM Services Ltd.

On the 11th of December 2019 the official receivers of Store First Ltd completed the sale of the freehold and associated assets and goodwill of 15 store pod centres to Store First Freeholds Limited. 

The centres involved in the sale are located in; Barnsley, Blackburn, Burnley, Derby, Ellesmere Port, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Northampton, Nottingham, Preston, Rochdale, St Helens and Wakefield.       

Who owns the store pods now?

According to Companies House, Store First Freeholds Limited is owned by Jennifer Whittaker, the wife of Store First founder Toby Whittaker, with former SFM Services Ltd directors Christopher Parkinson and Michael Turner in the role of directors. 

The official receivers also completed the sale of assets for SFM Services Limited to Pay Store Limited.

What Does this mean for Store Pod investors?

In effect it means a change of Landlord from Store First Limited to Store First Freehold Limited. However, Pay Store Ltd will be handling the running of the centres. 

What about my investment?

It’s understood that as part of the purchasing agreement, the Purchaser (Store First Freehold Ltd) agreed to accept requests from investors to surrender their pods, at no cost to them, but the investor would not receive any payment for their pods.

If investors do decide to surrender their pods it would mean an end to any ongoing costs for business rates and ground rents.

It could also mean more options open for investors, particularly if this was the only investment within the SIPP. 

For example, they may be able to transfer any remaining cash funds in the SIPP to an alternative pension provider or if investors are over 55, in accordance with the Pensions Freedom Act, they could draw any remaining cash funds from the SIPP, if they wished to do so. 

We always strongly recommend seeking regulated financial advice in relation to your pension.

Will this affect my Store Pod Claim?

No. This sale and any decision to surrender pods or not, will not have any detrimental effect on your case with us.

An investigation into the cause of the liquidation is still ongoing by the official receiver.

Important Story Update!

It’s understood that the HMRC have yet to determine if there will be any taxation in respect of clients who surrender their pods.

Clients should contact their SIPP Providers directly for more information before taking any action.

Important Information!

You are not required to use our services to pursue your claim. You can also seek further advice or shop around subject to any time limits within which a claim must be made.

It is possible for you to present the claim for free, either to the firm or person against whom you wish to complain or to the statutory ombudsman (Financial Ombudsman Service or Pension Ombudsman Service) or the Financial Compensation Scheme, whichever is applicable to your claim.

We will not make or pursue a claim, or advise you to, if we know or have reasonable grounds to suspect that the claim does not have a good arguable basis, and or is fraudulent or frivolous.