Sampson Company Put into Provisional Liquidation

A company run by a former editor of The Scottish Sun, Steve Sampson, has been put into provisional liquidation but with Sampson saying the company is still trading and that he is confident about the future.

On Friday, enterprise agency, Scottish Enterprise, successfully petitioned the courts to have a provisional liquidator – financial and business advisers, Grant Thornton – appointed for  TalentNation plc, a video-based website launched last year to showcase sports talent.

Said yesterday's Scotsman newspaper, the company is said to have raised £2.6 million, including £1 million from Scottish Enterprise for a 20 per cent stake. 

Writes Terry Murden: “But the company has been loss-making and the agency [Scottish Enterprise] said it had made several unsuccessful ateempts to resolve matters through more conventional routes. Yesterday's court action was the first time it had used this process.”

But Sampson, also a former director at the Daily Record, told “The company is still trading. It is profitable. The site is still working. We will resolve the situation with Scottish Enterprise, but their actions are somewhat surprising. As far as I am concerned, TalentNation is completely viable.”

The Scotsman quotes a Scottish Enterprise spokesperson as saying: “We have had grave concerns for some time. After substantial investigation and professional advice we feel we have no choice but to ask the Court to appoint a liquidator to take all appropriate action in the interests of the taxpayer and those dealing with the company.

“Pursuing this court action is unprecedented for Scottish Enterprise. It is not a decision which we have taken lightly and comes after several unsuccessful attempts to resolve matters through more conventional routes.”

TalentNation had compiled an impressive array of launch directors, including Kirsten Morrison, a former marketing director at Trinity Mirror (Scotland), but has also received less favourable reporting, including claims in The Drum magazine about industrial tribunals involving former members of the team.