Vaping giant VIP in administration, buyer sought

Wed, 08 Mar 2017 | ADMINISTRATION

An e-cigarette and vaping firm with more than 100 stores across the UK and 265 staff has collapsed, with administrators seeking a buyer for the business.

FRP Advisory has been appointed to Must Have, which trades as VIP and is owned by Electronic Cigarettes International Group (ECIG), a US supplier of e-cigarettes and assorted products.

In a statement ECIG said the business had been put into administration after it was unable to pay a £2.5 million tax bill to HMRC.

“Despite multiple attempts to satisfy the tax obligation and other expected near term obligations, the company is unable to continue to fund the operations or any obligations of Must Have,” the statement read.

VIP will continue to trade while FRP seek a buyer.

FRP Advisory said: “Historically the business has been profitable and cash generative and we are seeking to continue to trade the business while a purchaser is sought.”

"Based on the administration process in the United Kingdom we will be evaluating the strategic alternatives available for the future of the company," said Dan O'Neill, ECIG's CEO.

"Legacy financial commitments and MHL's underperformance in the UK prevented the subsidiary from meeting its financial obligations."

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