In Re Portbond Ltd  EWHC 3359 (Ch), three directors were accused by unfair prejudice petition of driving two companies into the ground and engineering a pre-pack sale to a connected company. The petitioner pleaded that the result of the pre-pack sale (and related transactions) was that the connected company acquired £27m in assets for £6.5m.
In a 741-paragraph judgment, His Honour Judge Davis-White KC, sitting as a High Court judge, dismissed the petition. He accepted the directors’ case that they had not deliberately pushed the companies into administration. Rather, he found, they had acted in what they considered to be the best interests of the company in appointing administrators after “natural causes outside the control” of the directors, including Covid, made the companies insolvent. At trial, the petitioner withdrew her allegation that the connected company had acquired £27m in assets for £6.5m, and the judge found that the pre-pack sale price had been a proper one.
Rob Mundy, instructed by Nino Simone and Rebecca Stojak of Geldards LLP, represented the three directors.
Written by Robert Mundy
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