The administration period for Stour Side Developments, the company which bought property including the Lido, Kings Hall and land at All Saints Industrial estate, has been extended for another two years.
Administrators Duff & Phelps were brought in during July 2017 after concerns over business irregularities were highlighted.
Russian businessman Alexander Andreev acquired 100% of the share capital in the company in 2010 and was appointed its sole director. In 2014, Paul Eley was appointed as its second director.
That same year the company secured $750,000 in new loan capital from Singaporean Investors and together with Stour Side Investments (a connected party at the time, bought a business and assets in Torquay for circa £200,000. Due to sustained losses, trade ceased sometime in late 2015, early 2016.
In 2014, the company (Stour Side Developments and Stour Side Investments) also acquired two plots at the Lido, including the car park, for £699,999. The purpose of the buy was to develop residential apartments or re-sell after having secured planning permission but no progress was ever made.
The third Lido site, of the snooker club, was bought by Lido Streetview Limited – run by long-time Lido manager Neville Borck and Martyn Buckley – for £100,000 in February 2017.
Andreev and Eley also mooted a sealife proposal for the site but this never came to fruition. An attempt to sell at auction also fell flat with the property being withdrawn.
In 2015 and early 2016, the company received additional cash from Evgueni Dogot and SIR Investments (a further connected company). Further cash was invested by Andreev and SSI which was used to buy property in Eaton Road, The King’s Theatre in Ramsgate and All Saints Industrial Estate.
Following the sale of Eaton Road in December 2016, several irregularities in respect of the company’s trading practices came to light. By this time, Evgueni Dogot had become a 50% shareholder and in 2017 he became sole director after the resignation of others including Andreev and Eley.
After discussions over concerns regarding transactions that were entered into by the company before Mr Dogot was in place it was concluded that the company was unable to pay its debts and was insolvent.
Duff & Phelps were brought in as administrators. The aim has been to rescue the site as a going concern.
Matters still under investigation include the sale of King’s Theatre and All Saints Industrial Estate before the company fell into administration. Issues are misappropriation of company property, preference payments and misfeasance.
To date, claims of debts totalling £1,337,623 have been received, made up of
Director’s loan £618,425
HM Revenue & Customs £31,296
Other loans £660,840
Trade & expense creditors £27,062
An investigation has involved interviewing Alexander Andreev, although efforts are still ongoing to interview Paul Eley, and examining details of all property transactions over a four year period.
The administration period has now been extended to July 2021 to allow the Joint Administrators to continue their ongoing investigations and recovery actions.
The administrators continue to hold the car park and have continued to collect trading with income of £10,874 to date.
Part of the site is currently being cleared by a group of six friends, led by Kent Underground explorer Lynton Owen. They are clearing the cavernous rooms, tunnels and spaces that run under the Ethelbert Terrace site in preparation for a structural survey and then laser scanning such as that carried out recently at Ramsgate Tunnels.
Margate resident Lynton, 34, has set up the Save The Margate Lido limited company and the aim is to convert to Community Interest Company status to access heritage funding and attract investors to help restore the Lido and baths to their former glory.
Read here: Government grant for Clifton Baths could lead to public access for the first time in 40 years