Following the collapse of Arena Television, it emerged that there was a supposed scam at the outdoor broadcast company which meant that millions of pounds of loans were given out on false pretences.
Arena Television had a turnover of £30 million a year and worked on events such as the Glastonbury music festival, Six Nations’ rugby and the Euro 2020 football championship. The company is thought to have borrowed £280 million from up to 50 lenders. Administrators were called in when one of Arena TV’s lenders discovered that equipment against which they had lent money didn’t exist. Many lenders are facing embarrassment and substantial losses as it was revealed that only 9 of 55 lenders to Arena Television had any verified assets supporting their loans, according to an official filing by insolvency practitioners at Kroll. If you want to read the administrators report then here it is below
Arena has outstanding charges in favour of Clydesdale Bank and NatWest, while its holding company, also insolvent has outstanding charges in favour of Close Invoice Finance and Barclays. Other high street banks and non-bank lenders are caught up in the collapse, including HSBC, Shawbrook, Santander and United Trust. Among those facing the biggest losses are Shawbrook, owed £34.6 million, HSBC, owed £29.5 million, the NatWest-owned Lombard, owed £24.2 million, and ABN Amro, owed £22.6 million.
Nic Conner, a former finance broker, said: “With asset finance, the lender doesn’t look at the company at all. All they care about is the asset and its residual value. Some lenders, the good ones, will want a site visit and even have their own serial number welded on; but so many will just ask for a photo.”