The MP & Silva agency – majority-owned by Chinese companies Everbright and Baofeng – was this morning wound up by the UK’s High Court of Justice.
The FFT today successfully sought a usual compulsory order, meaning MP & Silva is to be wound up pursuant to the Insolvency Act 1986 and the petitioner’s costs are to be paid out of the company’s assets. The agency will now be dissolved and its assets and outstanding income will be collected and distributed to creditors.
The FFT petition had two supporting creditors: Jochen Lösch, the agency’s former chief executive; and professional services company Grant Thornton, which is understood to have been the agency’s auditor.
Lösch was present in court today. No representatives from MP & Silva or its owners were present.
Last week, the FFT told the judge it is owed more than £5m (€5.7m/$6.6m) by MP & Silva. This money has been owed since June 30. On July 16, MP & Silva promised to pay its debts by July 25. No payment was forthcoming.
In 2011, MP & Silva agreed a five-year deal, from 2012 to 2016, with the FFT to distribute media rights to its flagship French Open grand slam across Europe, excluding France. The deal was later extended by a year, until 2017. The two parties in 2013 extended the agreement for a further four years, from 2018 until 2021.
MP & Silva has defaulted on payments to multiple rights-holders, as reported exclusively by TV Sports Markets in June.