Buzzfeed UK issued with 'strike-off' warning over late accounts

Buzzfeed

Buzzfeed UK has been told it will be dissolved in two months if it fails to file its accounts with Companies House, which are months overdue.

The warning comes after the online media organisation missed a deadline at the end of September to submit its financial information for 2018.

A First Gazette notice has been issued for a compulsory strike-off.

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The notice says: “The Registrar of Companies gives notice that, unless cause is shown to the contrary, the company will be struck off the register and dissolved not less than two months from (December 10).”

Julie Palmer, insolvency expert at Begbies Traynor, said: “Receiving a notice like this is more common than you might think, but it’s not often a cause for concern without any clear reasons behind it.”

These could include extending the company’s accounting period, although Companies House must still be informed, and most experts agree an accounting extension is typically a sign of financial difficulties.

The period covered in the late Buzzfeed UK accounts covers a difficult year for the business, with revenues failing to match expectations.

In January this year, founder and chief executive Jonah Peretti announced that 15 per cent of the workforce worldwide would be laid off to cut costs, which included 17 journalists in the UK.

It came weeks after UK editor-in-chief Janine Gibson stepped down after three-and-a-half years in charge and followed calls from staff to unionise.

Buzzfeed launched in the US in 2006 and expanded to the UK in 2013, the first overseas edition of the brand which now publishes in 11 countries.

Buzzfeed UK’s investigation team uncovered a series of troubling deaths of Russians in the UK, leading to the reopening of police investigations, and reporters also exposed a series of issues at the US Department of Justice.

A spokesperson for Buzzfeed UK said accounts would be filed “soon” but declined to specify further.

In 2017 the business made a pre-tax loss of £1.9m on turnover of £33.4m, although the accounts said it continues to be financially supported by its US parent company.

In 2016 it made a pre-tax loss of £3.3m on revenues of £20.5m.

Picture: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

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