£230m agency that supplied Sports Direct workers on brink of administration

£230m agency that supplied Sports Direct workers on brink of administration

Transline, the recruitment agency embroiled in the Sport’s Direct warehouse scandal, is on the brink of administration.

The Transline Group, which turned over almost £230million in its latest accounts, filed a notice of its intention to appoint administrators – Sky News reports.

The company has said it is ‘close to securing inward investment’ and has just days to raise money to keep it afloat. A key contract with Amazon was cancelled last month which is understood to be a factor behind the firm’s decline.

Since, it has emerged that Transline appointed KPMG advisers to seek new capital for the business.

Deloitte is rumoured to be in line to take over the firm.

The Brighouse-headquartered agency, which was founded in 1989, has faced increasing criticism from MPs over the Sports Direct scandal, which saw employees supplied by the agency operate under a strict regime.

Transline supplied around 1,700 agency workers to the notorious Sports Direct Shirebrook warehouse and faced criticism for its oppressive ‘six strikes’ firirng policy that left workers fearing for their jobs, zero hour contracts and failure to pay the minimum wage.

MPs said they were “disgusted” with agency companies such as Transline who supplied the majority of workers at the Sports Direct factory.

Sports Direct's Owner, billionaire Mike Ashley, recently appointed a workers’ representative to the discount retailer's board in a bid to redeem the company’s image.

In a statement issued to Sky News on Wednesday, a Transline spokesman said: "The company has suffered as a result of a continued move to tighter margins in the recruitment industry.

"We are close to securing inward investment that will allow us to drive forward with continued growth and infrastructure development, and have lodged the Notice of Intention to protect the business, our employees and our customers as we complete this process.

"The welfare of our staff and our relationships with our customers are of paramount importance, and we are continuing our service and operations as normal."

The potential administration of the firm comes just weeks after Transline’s Finance Director Jennifer Hardy gave evidence for a second time to MPs on the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy select committee.  

In August 2016, a deal between Sports Direct, union Unite and HMRC agreed to backpay £1million back to the 1,700 Transline workers who did not receive minimum wage.

The deal emerged from a feud between rival agency Blue Arrow who held the contracts two years before Transline took over, about who would pay the refunds.

Transline’s co-Founders Paul Beasley and Jon Taylor currently own 42.5% of the company each, 10% is owned by another Director, Colin Beasley, and five per cent is held by Mark Elms, another executive.

The latest accounts filed at Companies House show that it made just £919,000 in operating profit on turnover of £229.4million. 

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