Media company The Business Desk enters administration

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Regional news company The Business Desk has entered administration.

The digital media firm said tax charges accrued by its previous owners had forced it to enter a “restructuring process”.

The Business Desk currently operates locally-focused news sites for Yorkshire, the North West and West Midlands, employing 14 staff across the locations.

It was bought by entrepreneur Mark Hales last year, after expanding since its 2007 launch by David Parkin and Paul Snape.

Mr Parkin, a former business editor at The Yorkshire Post, continued as director at the company following its sale. He is now involved as a part-time consultant.

In a statement, TheBusinessDesk Ltd said that while its underlying business is profitable, it has been forced to appoint an administrator to meet HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) demands.

It said: “The current situation relates entirely to legacy arrears due to HMRC accrued under the previous ownership.
“Regrettably HMRC has refused to extend the reasonable and affordable repayment terms agreed in 2013 at the time of acquisition, and has left the current owner no alternative than to appoint an administrator.”

A new company, Regional Media Services Ltd, will operate the existing sites and “be free from historical liabilities”.

“All creditors of the former business will be transferred to the new company and will be paid in due course,” the company added.

The company said there will be no redundancies as part of its administration and current recruitment will continue.