The Middletons are too broke to pay the insolvency firm which sold Party Pieces


Back in May of last year, Carole and Michael Middleton sold Party Pieces lock stock and barrel for £180K. They sold their business through an intermediary insolvency firm, which is basically the posh version of a total bankruptcy. The whole picture soon became clear – Party Pieces was mismanaged and overextended, and at the time of its sale, they owed millions to banks, creditors, small vendors and more, and all of the Middletons’ creditors just had to eat those losses. The small businesses who extended credit to the Middletons were left astonished by the scope of the Middletons’ now-collapsed house of cards, especially since many of them were given personal assurances from Carole Middleton. The guy who purchased PP, James Sinclair, later revealed that the Middletons have nowhere near the kind of money they always pretended to have. Well, here’s yet another tragic postscript: the intermediary firm which handled Party Pieces’ bankruptcy and sale isn’t going to get paid either. This is a new level of broke-ass.

The City firm handling the insolvency of the business run by the Princess of Wales’s parents will be unable to collect the total fees due for the project after incurring costs of more than £260,000. Interpath Advisory was appointed to manage the collapse of Carole and Michael Middleton’s Party Pieces business last year after it fell into administration owing creditors £2.6 million.

The firm found that the realisation of Party Pieces’ assets was insufficient to cover the advisers’ time costs of £268,928. Interpath’s team was unable, therefore, to recoup the total fees for the work by its restructuring professionals, who have charged an average hourly rate of £566.

The firm discovered that Party Piece’s insolvency involved longer hours than expected to meet statutory requirements and queries from creditors. Interpath has received fees of £51,437 and, while it is expected to recoup more over time, it has determined that it will not be able to recoup the total bill.

Carole and Michael Middleton launched Party Pieces in 1987 as a business organising children’s parties. Later it branched out into selling decorations and gifts. The company suffered a drop in sales during the pandemic and while the Middletons had been willing to provide a dowry to secure a solvent sale of the business, ultimately it fell into administration.

Party Pieces was sold through a pre-pack administration to James Sinclair, 38, an entrepreneur, for £180,000. Interpath thus had limited funds to draw upon to satisfy creditors, including trade suppliers and HM Revenue & Customs.

Julie Palmer, a partner at Begbies Traynor, a management consulting company, said: “It’s been one of the toughest few years on record for consumer-facing businesses. Many of those that survived the pandemic have taken support loans or depleted their reserves, only to be catapulted into a perfect storm of high cost inflation and supply chain volatility, combined with dwindling consumer discretionary spending as higher interest rates and the cost of living crisis hit hard. Even the best-known brands are not immune to the current malaise and, with many now needing to repay support loans, we expect to see further high-profile casualties succumbing to these pressures, unless the economic environment improves significantly and quickly.”

[From The Times]

In previous reporting, this was always fudged: “Interpath Advisory was appointed to manage the collapse…” As in, the sale of Party Pieces was court-ordered (or whatever the British equivalent is) because Party Pieces was so far in debt, the only thing that could be done is appoint Interpath to clean up the Middletons’ mess and arrange for the fire sale of PP’s stock and name. And now the Middletons are too broke to cover Interpath’s incurred costs. Like, I keep going back to that – just how broke are the Middletons and did they really think they could keep up the charade forever?

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.