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Has Charles Styles Gone Bust

On 20 Jun 2009 at 8:36am long time Lewes resident wrote:
Is it true I heard Charles Styles has gone Bust.
On 20 Jun 2009 at 10:19am No Pot Pourri wrote:
It may be true that you heard a rumour, but I doubt if the rumour is true. Did your informant read an official notice? Did it relate to Mr Style or a company? I am not a Style supporter, but I cannot agree with what amounts to unfounded libel under cover of anonymity. Substantiate what you say or don't post.
On 20 Jun 2009 at 10:46am Geoff wrote:
Just to clarify, asking if something you heard is true, isn't libellous.
I hear from LTLR that Charles Style 'has gone bust. Does anyone know if there is any truth behind this? Perhaps one of the many inter-related companies he is associated with has gone bust, or has he perhaps filed for personal bancruptcy, or perhaps he has no financial problems at all.
On 20 Jun 2009 at 10:55am No Pot Pourri wrote:
Geoff, you have a point. Maybe prefixing "Is it true" means you escape libel laws, but without any foundation it is a pretty weak posting.
On 20 Jun 2009 at 10:57am No Potpourri wrote:
Hm.. I thought you nicked my nick, but then I searched the site and saw that your nick is much older. Oh well.
On 20 Jun 2009 at 11:29am No Pot Pourri wrote:
Do I win, or should we both carry on as we are?
On 20 Jun 2009 at 11:33am No Pot Pourri wrote:
Is it true that Gordon Brown is an undischarged bankrupt from Mars who has undergone a sex change op and was once caught interfering with a rodent?
On 20 Jun 2009 at 11:34am Geoff wrote:
Libel and Slander laws are very complicated, with lots of grey areas. If you write 'Charles Style has gone bust' knowing it to be untrue, then that is potentially libellous, if you write the same, believing it to be true, then that is a different matter. If it is phrased as a question, or phrased with the words 'seems to be', 'apparently' or such similar phrases it is very difficult to suggest that what you are saying is libel. EG it sems to me that Charles style may have very serious financial problems, and in my opinion the way he has treated residents at The Jam factory, and Southwark tax payers, is nothing short of scandalous.
On 20 Jun 2009 at 11:38am Geoff wrote:
I have doubts that your outrageous claims against our much radmired PM are true, but if there is a gerbil or Columbian doctor out there who know differently, then I am always open to pursuasive evidence.
On 20 Jun 2009 at 12:08pm Rozzer wrote:
The only way to settle this one way or the other is for Mr Style to come on here and tell us.
On 20 Jun 2009 at 12:25pm LTR wrote:
That would be nice. Its a bit tricky to know about Angel property's financial status as they aren't very prompot with their book-keeping and it is the usual combiantion of endless related companies. Take a look at Myjamfactory to read the delayed accounts for their property 2006 submitted in 2008. in passing you can also read how after a long legal battle, that resulted in residents winning their right to a public garden that Angel wanted to build on instead, you will see that Angel were turned down in their attempt to use tarmac, and had to resubmit with greenery. Next time someone tells me how Mr Style has promised us a cinema if hec an build 600 units on a flood plain, i shall remind them of Angel's 'flexible' interpretation of their own planning permission and promises, and suggest Charles Style may consider a DVD being shown in a cupboard meets with the promise he used to make!
On 20 Jun 2009 at 1:07pm Rozzer wrote:
LTR - I didn't post what I said with any expectation that it would happen. I think it's been a bit of a relief not waiting for yet another 'revised' plan of how to squeeze 600+ 'cutting edge' flats onto a flood plain and walks away with the profit before the sh*t hits the fan. And all the time having to pay out a small fortune as council tax payers for LDC planners to spend days helping him fine-tune his application.
On 20 Jun 2009 at 1:23pm LTR wrote:
Rozzer, I didn't either!
He has cost us a fortune, and that doesn't include the time and effort spent by Lewes residents in their uphill battle to try and meet with Councillors to warn them about his expolits in Southwark. If LDC's officers hadn't been wrongly pursuading Councillors that they couldn't meet with residents to discuss planning issues, we may have saved a lot of money!
On 20 Jun 2009 at 8:13pm Pedant wrote:
"Allegedly" is the word you want.
And as forn the malformed enquiry "Is it true I heard Charles Styles has gone Bust."(?) Only the OP can answer that. No one else has any idea if it's true he/she heard it or not.
On 21 Jun 2009 at 10:25am pendant wrote:
allegedly is certainly the most commonly used word in these circumstabnces, though it is rather clumsy to try and use it when reflecting on your own opinion. 'I would allege that... hence, 'it seems to me', 'appears that' etc are just as good. And of course, if you genuinely believe something to be true, it is hard to prove libel, even if you are completely wrong. EG. 'I believe that President Bush was a misunderstood genius.'
Anyway, it seems to me that the opening post omitted a question mark after' is it true', and if it is, I will be amongst the massive group of increasingly despairing residents who will be slightly relieved.
On 21 Jun 2009 at 5:15pm sashimi wrote:
The rumour originated with one of Angel's tenants who may have been reading more than is reasonable into a change in his paying instructions. I've phoned and emailed the office to find out if it is true or not and have heard nothing. There must be some way that creditors and intending suppliers can check this out, but I haven't found one yet. Perhaps someone who knows insolvency law can help. Whilst we know that Angel are not prospering (they are trying to sell the freehold of the Jam Factory to the leaseholders, allegedly on the instructions of their bank), that doesn't necessarily mean they are insolvent.
On 21 Jun 2009 at 7:02pm local wrote:
Isn't this just wishful thinking? If its not Angel Properties it will be someone else - this is especially likely if it is sold now. At about £6-8m it won't be organic allotments.
On 22 Jun 2009 at 1:20am LTR wrote:
You clearly haven't heard about the rest of what has been going on. I agree that the site may well be developed by someone else, but that was what was going to happen anyway, as Mr Style made it clear he was going to sell the development on
And I wouldn't be so dismissive of projects to ensure that there are allotment spaces. They were a lifeline to people in the recession of the 1930's, and there was a thing called WWII where people were desperate for all the growing space they could find. Not everyone has such short memories as you,, and we can't keep flying in trimmed french beans from Kenya for ever!
On 22 Jun 2009 at 9:46am Rozzer wrote:
LTR is right - and let's hope there is a decent development on the Phoenix site, one that looks to what is going to be a difficult future. By the way, the accounts for some of the Angel companies is on the myjamfactory website. Perhaps anyone who can read balance sheets could look at them and explain what the massive losses on there actually mean - real losses or creative accounting?
On 22 Jun 2009 at 11:58am Ed Can Do wrote:
The most interesting bit of the accounts is the related parties note on page 14 of the Angel Properties accounts. This basically shows all the companies that are connected through Charles Styles and you'd never have a clue about how close he was or wasn't to bankruptcy without looking at the accounts for all those companies at the same time. You could download them all from Companies House for a quid each if you really wanted but there's no guarantee they'd be up to date.

The accounts shown up there don't really say anything interesting sadly. The majority of the turnover of the company is derived from selling buildings as you can see from the breakdown of turnover in the notes, very little comes from rental income and the company has no investment properties on it's balance sheet, just a big stock figure implying that all the houses they have they plan to sell on, not keep and rent out.

The costs of sales pretty much match the turnover so he's apparently broken even building and selling property. The loss comes from the admin expenses of £2,000,000 odd. If you look on page 15, it says that Angel Properties purchased the right to future profits from other Angel companies to the tune of about 2,000,000. Essentially, he's creating a loss in this company against which he can offset future profits from other companies to avoid paying tax. Angel properties made no profits so he's not paid out a dividend and taken no salary from this particular company. You'll probably find that the companies he bought the future profits of made a loss of approximately what he paid them out of Angel. Essentially he's shuffling around the losses so he can offset as much as possible against any profits he might make in the future.

What this does imply (And this is only speculation here) is that none of his companies turned much of a profit that year as then you'd expect him to be using these losses to offest that gain, rather than bottling them up for later. His wealth is all on the balance sheet, if he doesn't sell anything, he makes no money so it's entirely conceivable that since the bottom fell out of the property market he's lost a ton of cash.

Also note that one of his companies is called Terracotta Properties (Malling Brooks) Limited, a company formed in 2004 that again hasn't filed accounts since 2006 but which might well be one to watch.

If a company of which he is sole director goes into administration, he'll be barred from being a company director so watch for a form 288a being filed at CoHo which indicates a new director being appointed, I imagine he'd let a family member take the banning if one of the companies was really about to under. Also, if he files for bankruptcy the insolvency people would write to all his creditors telling them, although it might take a while for them to work out who to write to! Insolvency notices are published I believe in local papers and possibly on a website somewhere.
On 22 Jun 2009 at 12:28pm sashimi wrote:
I've just had an email from someone at Angel in response to my query about whether they were in administration. It reads: "I can confirm that this is far from the truth and you are being mis-informed." So, someone who presumably works for Angel is still going into the office. The first move for an alert administrator/receiver is to change the locks and instruct the staff to make it clear they are under new management. So, that seems reasonably credible.
On 22 Jun 2009 at 12:31pm Rozzer wrote:
Ed - Terracotta Properties is, of course, the one that has put in the planning application that LDC is considering on Wednesday. Do planning authorities take the ability of the applicant to actually put the plan into effect when considering whether to grant permission?
On 22 Jun 2009 at 3:00pm Ed Can Do wrote:
That, I couldn't tell you. At any rate, all they'd do would be to look at the accounts for reassurance that the company will still exist in year's time. If you look at those Angel accounts, you'll see that even though the company made a loss and has a negative balance sheet, there is an assurance that the creditors of the company won't call in the debts in the next year so the company will stay afloat. The trouble with complicated corporate structures like these is it's very difficult to see which of his companies are lending money to which others. That he has so many different companies anyway means that it'll be fairly easy for him to set someone else up as director then have them bankrupt the company for him, protecting his status as director. I wouldn't have thought there's much danger of him going into administration unless he stops having enough cash to pay off his bank loans and it's impossible to say from those accounts how much of the loan balance is from third parties and how much from other companies.

You can search on the Companies Hosue website for information about directors as well as companies and again, it costs £1 for each search but I think you have to be registered to their subscription service to access that search (Which I'm not). That search will tell you all the directorships held by one person though which can help if you're trying to assess someone's financial situation. Sadly, publically available information on Limited companies is pretty vague, even if you know what you're looking for there's a lot of conjecture involved.
On 22 Jun 2009 at 5:48pm Dave wrote:
In answer to Rozzer, no, planning authorities do not consider whether the applicant can "deliver" the plan permission sought. Anyone can submit plans for developing a site, even if they don't have ownership of the site.
On 22 Jun 2009 at 6:27pm Local to Phoenix follies wrote:
If you want to know more about Angels financial activities contact Myjamfactory as they are very helpful and will tell you all about them, and their financial arrangements. You could then pop down to Southwark Council, as Anne de Vecchi, and John Crawford apparently did, and consider what happened after that little visit.
On 23 Jun 2009 at 8:08am Rozzer wrote:
The Myjamfactory site is essential reading for anyone who wants a warning about what Angel would do to Lewes if they got the chance.
On 23 Jun 2009 at 12:08pm No Pot Pourri wrote:
As I suspected. No evidence or foundation to this at all.
On 23 Jun 2009 at 2:42pm TowerBridgeRoad wrote:
It's only a matter of time, though.

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