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Landgard fights on over Focus debt

German-owned plant supplier considers legal action to recoup losses from collapse of DIY chain.

Plant supplier Landgard UK is considering legal action to win back some of the £2m-plus it lost when Focus DIY went into administration highly stocked with garden goods shortly after Easter.

German-owned Landgard UK, based in West Sussex, said trading with Focus had brought repercussions. Non-executive chairman Jim Floor added: "Focus has been a painful experience but we have full commitment from our parent company for the UK business to move forward as planned.

"We have talked to other creditors about a legal class action but we are going on our own. The reality is it is very difficult to prove. Our lawyers are involved in retention of title discussions."

A German Landgard representative said the Focus debt would not harm the business. "Our future in the UK is continuing and we will further invest into the UK business," he added.

Focus supplier of garden goods Proteam went into administration with FRP Advisory this month, owed £3m by Focus. The retailer began closing stores this week as well as its Tamworth distribution site.

Gardman managing director Mark Pearson said his firm had limited its debt from in-administration Focus by "looking to reduce our exposure for quite some time".

Source : Matthew Appleby - Horticulture Week

24 June 2011
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