Brighton-based Warlord Productions Ltd, a company which claimed it would act as a co-producer of Henry 5, a film version of three of William Shakespeares plays, has been wound up in the High Court in London for failing to record, manage or account for in excess of 3million of private investment funds, following a confidential investigation by Company Investigations of the Insolvency Service
The investigation found that the company received investor funds of almost 6million. After paying commission to third party broker firms of some 3million, the investigation was unable to reconcile the remaining funds.
Whilst funds were claimed to have been used for production costs, Michael Cowan, the companys former sole director, was unable to provide either a satisfactory explanation, nor adequate records to account for the companys expenditure of the private investors funds. In addition, the latest financial statements prepared for Warlord showed that it was heavily balance sheet insolvent at 31 January 2014.
The company also failed to maintain records which accurately recorded investors, and as a result, the investigation was unable to identify investors who made investments in excess of 3million. This would have adversely affected the companys ability to make payments to its investors should the film be completed and make a profit. Information provided to investors made unsubstantiated claims regarding well-known actors who had agreed to appear in the film.
Warlord Productions Ltd states it does not own the film rights, and that responsibility for filming is with another company.
The investigation was hampered not only by the lack of records, but also by Mr Cowans view that he was director in name only and that responsibility for the companys management lay elsewhere. When he resigned as director on 16 January 2015, the company was abandoned with no-one in office to protect the investors position.
Commenting on the case, David Hill, Chief Investigator at the Insolvency Service, said:
This company appeared to be a film production company in name only as it seemed to do little or no filming or producing.
The Insolvency Service will investigate companies that are acting against the public interest and put them out of circulation.