Belfast-based e-commerce firm Selazar ceases trading after administrators appointed
Majority of Selazar's 54 staff made redundant
ADMINISTRATORS have been appointed to Belfast-based e-commence company Selazar, two years after it received a £20 million cash injection from a global investment firm.
The company, which also has facilities in Warwickshire and Rotherham, is a third party logistics operator providing e-commerce fulfilment services.
Restructuring firm Interpath Advisory confirmed Selazar ceased trading on the appointment of its two administrators on September 21, with the majority of the company's 54 staff made redundant.
In a statement, Interpath said: “In common with a number of other companies across the e-fulfilment sector, in recent times the company had seen significant inflation across the company’s fixed cost base.
“This, coupled with the highly competitive nature of the market, had led to liquidity challenges.”
Selazar, headed by Belfast tech entrepreneur Jack Williams received a £20m investment from an unnamed global investment firm in 2021.
Mr Williams said the funds would enable his firm to expand internationally and open eight new warehouses.
Selazar subsequently established a South American subsidiary based in Medellin, Columbia.
The week before the £20m announcement, the Cayman Islands registered Petra Group Holdings became a significant shareholder in the Belfast firm.
According to Companies House, the company, which also has a London-based entity, is owned by Sonny Henry Hunt.
Selazar also received a loan on the same date from Hwsil Finance Co Limited.
The firm drew down a loan of £3m in November 2021.
The latest accounts filed with Companies House show Selazar Limited lost £2.65m in the year to April 30 2022.
As of April 30 2022, it owed £4.4m in loans.
Interpath Advisory confirmed that immediately following their appointment, it sold Selazar’s assets, including its intellectual property and the Selazar trading platform, to Petra Financial Technologies LLC and MPN Technologies Ltd, entities within the Petra Group associated with the incumbent lender.
Petra’s 2021 involvement in Selazar allowed previous investors Foresight Group and Co-Fund NI to cash out their original investment.
Selazar also received £330,000 from the Covid-19 Equity Investment Fund (CEIF), which was launched by Invest NI as part of its Access to Finance portfolio.
Invest NI said the loan was repaid in 2021.
Invest NI said it had previously worked closely with Selazar since it was established to develop its e-commerce platform.
That platform now belongs to Petra Group.
Stuart Irwin, managing director at Interpath Advisory and joint administrator, said: “The logistics and e-fulfilment sector is currently experiencing a number of headwinds including rising costs and softening demand in the wake of fragile consumer confidence.
“Due to the cessation of trade and the sale of the assets, no further orders can or will be fulfilled by the company, its warehouse partners or the purchaser.
"Customers are therefore advised to contact our team as a matter of urgency to make arrangements for the collection of stock.”
Mr Irwin added: “As a matter of priority, we will also be providing support to those members of staff impacted by redundancy, including providing them with the information required to submit claims to the Redundancy Payments Office.”
Interpath said a number of Selazar's staff have been retained in order to assist with the return of stock to customers.