MJ Hudson, which has offices in Guernsey and Jersey, today stopped trading on AIM after the first stage of its sell-off went through.
Apex Group has bought the data and analytics arm for £15m, but regulatory approval is still needed for its deal to take on the business outsourcing division for about £25m, which includes the Channel Islands operations.
At the end of March, MJ Hudson still owned about £33.7m. to Santander UK, and it has warned the majority of the money from the Apex deal will go to that.
Pictured: Apex Group has completed the first stage in a deal to buy parts of MJ Hudson's operation.
“It is highly unlikely that there will be a substantial, or any, amount available to shareholders following payment of all creditors and costs,” it said in a market update.
Difficulties at MJ Hudson began to emerge in October when it announced there were problems with its accounts. Trading in its shares were suspended on 12 December after further issues were uncovered.
EY resigned in February as its auditor and two days later it was confirmed that CEO Matthew Hudson had resigned. Soon after that it emerged that an accounting review had uncovered loans to the company, some of which he personally guaranteed, full details of which the board were unaware of - including related payments to Mr Hudson’s consultancy company HCO Global.
The cancellation of its listing on AIM was agreed at a general meeting at the start of May, when shareholders also backed the sale of the data and analytics and business outsourcing division.
The business outsourcing sale is split into four separate parcels, Guernsey, Jersey, Ireland and Luxembourg.
MJ Hudson's Guernsey business has 25 employees, while in Jersey it employs 13.
They will be sold for £4m. each.
On announcing the successful closure of the data and analytics division, Apex Group founder and chief executive Peter Hughes said: “We are pleased to welcome the clients and employees of these business divisions of MJ Hudson which will deepen our service offering and will add complementary solutions, including in the fast-growing ESG space."
Pictured: Peter Hughes.
Mr Hughes said: “As we drive positive change in the industry, we will continue to evolve our pioneering ESG solutions to be the best possible partner for our clients; the addition of MJ Hudson’s ESG & Sustainability business further reinforces our position as a leading service provider. We look forward to updating the market on the successful conclusion of our acquisition of MJ Hudson’s regulated business activities including ManCo solutions, in due course.”
It is the latest in a series of strategic acquisitions for Apex,which have included Sanne Group and Maitland.
Main image: MJ Hudson's Guernsey office.
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