Portsmouth's Victory Energy goes into liquidation owing thousands to businesses

A COUNCIL-OWNED energy firm has voluntarily gone into liquidation owing more than £131,480 to businesses.

Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 4:55 am
Updated Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 1:04 pm
Defunct council-owned company Victory Energy sponsored Portsmouth Football Club in March 2018 in a three-year deal. A sign shown the now-closed public firm at Victory Lounge, Fratton Park, in Portsmouth. 

Picture: Habibur Rahman
Defunct council-owned company Victory Energy sponsored Portsmouth Football Club in March 2018 in a three-year deal. A sign shown the now-closed public firm at Victory Lounge, Fratton Park, in Portsmouth. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Victory Energy filed for liquidation in April with public documents now listing 13 creditors, ranging from a software supplier to a recruitment head hunter, owed cash.

Some 12 companies are owed £131,483.08 while owner Portsmouth City Council lost £3.32m of taxpayers’ money on the project.

It was shelved without the company selling a single kilowatt of energy to a consumer.

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Governance measures were toughened up after an internal audit report last year found the council did not follow ‘due process’ in key areas.

Among the creditors is Devon-based Harrison James Executive, a recruitment firm, owed £32,500 by the company – Victory Energy Supply Limited.

Whiteley firm Taylor Made Computer Solutions is owed £2,526.

Barclaycard is owed £850, while Condor Office Solutions is owed £2,160.

Software supplier Format14 CRM Ltd is owed £67,296.

Numerous energy companies are also owed thousands.

Directors decided to wind up Victory on April 20, with the matter in the hands of liquidators at RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP.

A meeting chaired by city council finance director Chris Ward, a director of Victory Energy, agreed to put the company into liquidation.

They resolved: ‘That it has been proved to the satisfaction of this meeting that the company cannot, by reason of its liabilities, continue its business, and that it is advisable to wind up the same, and accordingly that the company be wound up voluntarily.’

The move appears to be the final word on the company.

It became a political football after it was brought into being by the Tory administration.

It was then axed by the Lib Dems, before being reinstated by Labour and the Tories – and was then killed off by the Lib Dems.

The News previously revealed it paid £270,000 to its contractor chief executive over 17 months, with £750,000 paid to six high-earning staff overall.

Accounts say the company will achieve a £2,340 VAT refund.

Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, council leader, said: ‘We’ve had a really close escape from tens of millions of pounds of debt from this lunatic idea – (it was) financially completely irresponsible.’

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