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                           E U R O P E

           Wednesday, January 4, 2012, Vol. 13, No. 3

                            Headlines



D E N M A R K

VESTJYSK BANK: Rules Out Government Takeover


G R E E C E

TOP SHIPS: M/V PEPITO Sale to Result in US$25 Million Book Loss


I R E L A N D

* IRELAND: Business Failure Rate Up 20% in 2011, Vision-Net Says
* IRELAND: Judges Orders Debtors to Pay Back EUR8-Bil. Bad Debts
* IRELAND: Galway Insolvencies Third Highest in the Country


P O L A N D

* POLAND: Corporate Bankruptcies Up 10.4% in 2011


S L O V A K   R E P U B L I C

NOVACKE CHEMICKE: Trencin Court Approves Sale to Via Chem


U N I T E D    K I N G D O M

BLACKS LEISURE: May Get Lifeline This Week; Attracts Four Bidders
D2 JEANS: Goes Into Administration, Cuts 200 Jobs
DARLINGTON FC: Chairman to Place Firm Into Administration
HOT TUNA: Incurs Heavy Losses; Seeks Buyer to Rescue Business
LA SENZA: Goes Into Administration, Closes 4 Shops in NI

PLYMOUTH ALBION: Chairman Denies it is in Brink of Administration
ST. MICHAEL'S: Goes Into Administration, Closes School
* UK: More Retail Sector Insolvencies Expected This Year
* UK: More Business Failures Expected in Retail Sector This Year
* UK: More Shops to Face Administration in Next Couple of Weeks

* UK: PKF Says 25 Firms to Face Receivership Every Week in 2013
* UK: Businesses in North More Likely to Fail, RSM Tenon Says
* UK: Financial Stress Among Reasons of AIM Delistings


                            *********


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D E N M A R K
=============


VESTJYSK BANK: Rules Out Government Takeover
--------------------------------------------
Peter Levring at Bloomberg News reports that Vestjysk Bank A/S, a
regional Danish lender which last month was ordered to more than
double its loan impairments, isn't discussing a government
takeover.

"We're not in talks with the government to have them convert
hybrid capital," Bloomberg quotes Vestjysk Bank CEO Frank
Kristensen, as saying on Monday in a phone interview.  "The bank
is 'on par' with solvency requirements and has 'good profit
generation and solid credit handling.'"

Borsen reported on Monday reported that the state may opt to
convert debt to shares to protect its involvement in loans and
guarantees at the bank worth DKK9.3 billion (US$1.7 billion),
Bloomberg relates.

Danish banks are reeling from the fallout of a housing price
bubble and a funding crisis sparked by senior creditor losses
after the February failure of Amagerbanken A/S, Bloomberg
discloses.  Lenders also need to repay about US$30 billion in
state-backed bonds by the end of 2013, forcing some, including
Vestjysk Bank, to cut lending and sell assets, Bloomberg says.

According to Bloomberg, Borsen reported that the government would
convert DKK322 million of hybrid capital to Vestjysk Bank shares.
The Copenhagen-based newspaper, as cited by Bloomberg, said that
such a move would give the state a majority ownership as the
bank's market value was DKK235 million on Dec. 30.

Mr. Kristensen said that a takeover should be preceded by a
request from the Financial Supervisory Authority to convert loans
to capital if the bank is failing to meet solvency requirements
or is close to failing, Bloomberg notes.

Vestjysk Bank said Dec. 20 that the FSA demanded the bank to
increase its writedowns for 2011 by DKK550 million to DKK950
million on loans related to agriculture, Bloomberg recounts.  The
bank said its solvency ratio was 12.7% after the extra writedowns
compared with a 10.6% solvency requirement set by the regulator,
Bloomberg relates.

Denmark's government has lent DKK1.4 billion in hybrid core
capital to Vestjysk Bank and the bank has issued about
US$1.38 billion of state-backed bonds, which will expire in the
first half of 2013, Bloomberg says, citing the Web site of
Denmark's bank wind-down agency the Financial Stability Company.

Vestjysk Bank A/S is a Lemvig, Denmark-based lender.


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G R E E C E
===========


TOP SHIPS: M/V PEPITO Sale to Result in US$25 Million Book Loss
---------------------------------------------------------------
TOP Ships Inc. has sold the M/V PEPITO, a 75,928 dwt drybulk
vessel built in 2001.  The sale of the M/V PEPITO will result in
a book loss of approximately US$25 million.

                        About Top Ships

Based in Maroussi, Greece, Top Ships Inc. (Nasdaq: TOPS)
-- http://www.topships.org/-- is an international maritime
shipping company that provides transportation services for crude
oil, petroleum products, and dry bulk commodities.

                         *     *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on April 25, 2011,
Top Ships Inc. filed on April 12, 2011, its annual report on Form
10-K for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2010.  Deloitte
Hadjipavlou, Sofianos & Cambanis S.A., in Athens, Greece,
expressed substantial doubt about Top Ships Inc.'s ability to
continue as a going concern.  The independent auditors noted that
of the Company's inability to comply with financial covenants
under its current loan agreements as of Dec. 31, 2010, and 2009,
and its negative working capital position.


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I R E L A N D
=============


* IRELAND: Business Failure Rate Up 20% in 2011, Vision-Net Says
----------------------------------------------------------------
Laura Slattery at The Irish Times, citing business information
provider Vision-net, reports that companies collapsed at a rate
of more than 160 a month in the first 11 months of last year,
with the rate of failure increasing 20% on 2010.

From January to November, some 1,930 Irish companies failed, with
almost three-quarters of the companies liquidated and most of the
rest going into receivership, the Irish Times discloses.
According to the Irish Times, Vision-net said that the failed
companies owe a total of almost EUR1.2 billion in unpaid debt to
unsecured creditors.

Businesses in the hotel and restaurant sector were the hardest
hit, the Irish Times notes.  Some 3,400 of the 5,000 companies in
this sector studied by Vision-net -- almost 70% -- were deemed
"high risk" by the business analyst, the Irish Times states.
Some 181 companies in this sector closed last year, accounting
for 9% of total business failures, the Irish Times recounts.

Vision-net, as cited by the Irish Times, said that more than half
of the construction companies examined and more than half the
companies in the wholesale and retail sector were also deemed to
be "high risk", showing signs of business failure.

Christine Cullen, Vision-net's managing director, said the
hospitality and construction sectors had been hardest hit because
of the squeeze on consumers' discretionary spending and the
ongoing contraction in the property market, the Irish Times
relates.


* IRELAND: Judges Orders Debtors to Pay Back EUR8-Bil. Bad Debts
----------------------------------------------------------------
Dearbhail McDonald at Irish Independent reports that judges have
ordered Irish debtors to pay back more than EUR8 billion in bad
debts since the onset of the recession.

However, much of the soured debt, described as the tip of the
iceberg, will simply never be recovered, Irish Independent notes.

The courts are now experiencing a "second wave" of judgments as
banks and creditors move on from processing high-priority, high-
value property debts to other bad debtors including companies
that are struggling with cashflow and obtaining credit, Irish
Independent discloses.

According to Irish Independent, analysis of the debt data in
Ireland also shows that:

   -- Public servants, medical personnel and hospitality workers
      are least likely to be pursued through the courts;

   -- 70 judgments were registered against solicitors and
      barristers last year; and

   -- 285 publicans and retailers had judgments registered
      against them in 2011.


* IRELAND: Galway Insolvencies Third Highest in the Country
-----------------------------------------------------------
A total of 89 companies in Galway City and County were declared
insolvent in the first eleven months of 2011, the third highest
level in Ireland, according to statistics compiled for the
Connacht Tribune.

The figures, which are the most up-to-date available, cover the
eleven months to the end of November and show there were a total
of 89 insolvencies recorded in Galway - up slightly from the 86
recorded in the same period in 2010, the Connacht Tribune says.

The report relates that the total figure includes court
liquidations, creditors' voluntary liquidations, receiverships
and examinerships.

According to the report, insolvency experts have warned that
troubled businesses are having an increasing knock-on effect on
other companies.

One insolvency specialist told the Connacht Tribune: "If an
insolvent company can't meet its debts to creditors -- whether
they are individuals or companies -- they will then find
themselves in trouble.

"It's the domino effect, and it can spread alarmingly quickly.
We've already seen an increase in business insolvencies in Galway
this year on last year," he said.

Comparative insolvency figures for other counties for the first
eleven months of in 2011 show Dublin had 576 (up from 564); Cork
had 126 (unchanged); Limerick had 67 (up from 59); Kildare has 68
(up from 65); Meath had 62 (up from 57) and Wexford 58 (up from
46), the Connacht Tribune discloses.


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P O L A N D
===========


* POLAND: Corporate Bankruptcies Up 10.4% in 2011
-------------------------------------------------
According BBC Monitor Euro, Polish national independent news
agency PAP, citing a Coface report published on Monday, said that
a total of 723 firms went bankrupt in Poland in 2011, up 10.4%
year-on-year.

Coface noted that the figure is about 76% more than in the pre-
crisis year of 2008 when 411 Polish firms were declared bankrupt,
BBC Monitor Europe discloses.

The construction sector was marked by the biggest number of
bankruptcies, with 143 firms going bankrupt in 2011, up 46% year-
on-year, BBC Monitor Euro states.


=============================
S L O V A K   R E P U B L I C
=============================


NOVACKE CHEMICKE: Trencin Court Approves Sale to Via Chem
---------------------------------------------------------
The Slovak Spectator, citing Sme daily, reports that the regional
court in Trencin has approved the sale of bankrupt Novacke
Chemicke Zavody (NCHZ) to a Czech company Via Chem.

According to the Slovak Spectator, the court was asked to make a
decision after creditors of NCHZ could not agree whether to sell
the factory to Via Chem, which offered EUR2.2 million, or to
businessman Miroslav Remeta, who offered EUR2 million.

Neither potential purchaser promised to maintain the jobs of
about 1,500 people who currently work for NCHZ, the Slovak
Spectator notes.

Novacke Chemicke Zavody is a Slovakian chemical firm.


============================
U N I T E D    K I N G D O M
============================


BLACKS LEISURE: May Get Lifeline This Week; Attracts Four Bidders
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Andrea Felsted at The Financial Times reports that Blacks Leisure
could receive a lifeline this week with four bidders vying for
the majority of the firm's assets.

According to the FT, a number of parties have submitted
preliminary offers to buy all or part of Blacks Leisure assets,
raising hopes that much of the business and the jobs of many of
its 3,500 employees could be saved.

It is understood that four bidders are interested in the bulk of
the business. KPMG, which is handling the sale, has continued to
hold talks with interested parties and provide them with further
information, the FT discloses.  Second-round bids are due towards
the end of this week, the FT notes.

The deal could still be done by way of a pre-pack administration,
whereby a company goes into a formal insolvency process but
emerges rapidly under new ownership following a pre-arranged
sale, the FT says.

The level of interest means that the majority of jobs at Blacks
look set to be saved, according to the FT.  However, there were
likely to have been some redundancies in any case as the new
management team restructured the group, which trades under the
Blacks and Millets names, the FT states.

It is thought that Edinburgh Woollen Mill and Sports Direct
International are among those that are interested, the FT
discloses.

As reported by the Troubled Company Reporter-Europe on Dec. 28,
2011, the FT related that Blacks said its net debt had risen to
GBP36 million.  It made a GBP16 million pre-tax loss in the six
months to August 27, the FT noted.

Blacks Leisure is an outdoor clothing and equipment retailer.
The company operates about 300 shops under the Blacks and Millets
brands.


D2 JEANS: Goes Into Administration, Cuts 200 Jobs
-------------------------------------------------
BBC News reports that D2 Jeans has gone into administration,
making 200 staff redundant and putting hundreds more jobs at
risk.

Administrators closed 19 UK stores, including six in Scotland,
and laid off shop workers at the Ayrshire-based firm, according
to BBC News.  The report relates that the Scottish closures were
in Clydebank, Falkirk, Glenrothes, Hamilton, Irvine and Paisley.

BBC News notes that D2's other 28 stores are being run as a going
concern while a buyer is sought.

Administrator James Stephen, from BDO LLP, said "extremely
difficult trading conditions" had hit the sector. . . . .
However, we are hopeful of securing a sale of all or part of the
business and will continue to trade the business while this is
explored."

BBC News notes that the company also has stores in England, Wales
and Northern Ireland with closures in Redditch, Taunton,
Haverfordwest, Llanelli, Belfast (the Kennedy Centre, Castle
Lane, Cityside and Connswater) Omagh, Bangor (Bloomfield),
Lisburn, and Newry.

The administrator can be reached at:

         BDO LLP
         Glasgow, Scotland
         James Stephen
         Tel no: 01412495246
         e-mail: james.stephen@bdo.co.uk


DARLINGTON FC: Chairman to Place Firm Into Administration
---------------------------------------------------------
The Northern Echo reports that Darlington Football Club is facing
a third spell of administration in nine years, reports emerging
from the club this afternoon suggest.

Sources claim the club will be put into administration by
chairman Caj Singh, according to The Northern Echo.

The report relates that the players will not be paid tomorrow
when their monthly wages are due.  They have been told to prepare
for administration, The Northern Echo relays.

"Chairman Raj Singh has today returned from abroad and is
currently assessing the club's position with his advisors.  A
further announcement will be made next week," the club said in a
obtained by the news agency.


HOT TUNA: Incurs Heavy Losses; Seeks Buyer to Rescue Business
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Scotsman reports that Hot Tuna suffered further heavy losses
on Friday as it admitted it needed a buyer to rescue the brand.

The company said underlying losses were GBP862,000 in the year to
June 30 after sales more than halved to just GBP207,000, the
Scotsman relates.

The company put itself up for sale in November after it admitted
that sales had not met targets and the business was unlikely to
be able to stay afloat throughout 2012, the Scotsman recounts.

According to the Scotsman, the firm said its brand had received
strong interest and it expected to put a purchase offer to
shareholders this month.

Meanwhile, Alexandra at The Financial Times reports that Jamie
Constable, chief executive of business restructuring consultancy
RCapital, said unlike distressed UK retailers, Hot Tuna was "more
of a licensing brand that sort of lost its way."

"Hot Tuna needs some growth investment -- an investor needs to
get in to build the brand, perhaps in the way they should have
done 10 years ago," the FT quotes Mr. Constable as saying.
"Demand [for retail brands] is very thin on the ground in this
type of market."

In November Hot Tuna said it had put the company's intellectual
property and stock up for sale, adding that it would remain a
listed shell but all directors except for Marcus Yeoman would
step down, the FT discloses.

According to the FT, on Friday Matthew Kelly, Hot Tuna's
financial controller, said that the company, which once boasted
Elle Macpherson as a director, had three prospective buyers, and
the board hoped to present shareholders with an offer in January
as previously planned, but that this date could "spill over into
February".

Mr. Kelly, as cited by the FT, said that the Hot Tuna brand has
been valued at GBP495,000.

The company has no outstanding obligations, and no debt
facilities available, the FT states.

Hot Tuna is a surfwear business best known for its piranha logo.
It sells "edgy surf/streetwear" in the UK, US and Australia.


LA SENZA: Goes Into Administration, Closes 4 Shops in NI
--------------------------------------------------------
BBC News reports that La Senza is to close four shops in Northern
Ireland.

The business, which announced on December 23 that it was going
into administration, is closing more than 80 shops across the UK
and Ireland, according to BBC News.

The report relates that the Northern Ireland stores to close are
at Castle Court and Victoria Square in Belfast along with
branches in Ballymena and Derry.

BBC news notes that La Senza blamed "trading conditions" and "the
overall macro environment" for its decision to go into
administration.

The report relates that Andrew Irvine of Belfast City Centre
Management said that despite the problems for individual
retailers nationally, the broad picture locally remained
positive.

La Senza is a lingerie chain.  The retailer had about 2,600 staff
at 146 stores and 18 concessions across the United Kingdom.


PLYMOUTH ALBION: Chairman Denies it is in Brink of Administration
-----------------------------------------------------------------
This is Plymouth reports that Plymouth Albion Rugby Football Club
Chairman Dr. Graham Stirling has denied rumors the championship
club are about to go into administration.

Speculation has been flying around rugby circles that Albion are
on the verge of that following the shock exit of new coaches
Peter Drewett and Phil Greening from Brickfields, according to
This is Plymouth.

The report notes that the pair walked away from the club as the
city side could not meet their salaries.

This is Plymouth notes that Albion sacked long-serving chairman
of rugby Graham Dawe in mid-November to bring in former Exeter
boss Drewett.

However, the report relates that the deal for Mr. Drewett and
coaching consultant Greening was being underwritten by local
businessman Nigel Passmore, who agreed to join the board eight
weeks ago when Albion were looking for new investment.

However, Mr. Passmore's spell at Brickfields did not last long
and he left the club just before Christmas, the report says.
That has left Albion unable to fund Mr. Drewett's and Mr.
Greening's salaries, This is Plymouth discloses.

This is Plymouth says that the loss of Mr. Drewett and Mr.
Greening and much-needed investment has left Albion in a state of
chaos and with the club's reputation in tatters.

However, This is Plymouth notes that Mr. Stirling insists Albion
can survive in the Championship and he will fill in shareholders
about all the developments and the club's financial position at a
meeting.

When asked if the club was about to go into administration, which
would mean a points deduction and almost certain relegation, Mr.
Stirling said strongly: "That is not the case. . . . This is all
very difficult at the moment and after what has happened, nerve
ends are very raw, for all involved. . . . But I assure everyone
that there is considerable work going on within the club 24/7 to
sort matters out as quickly as possible."

The report notes that Albion have been struggling financially for
a number of years after investing heavily in Brickfields, which
has left them with debts to pay.

In 2007/08, players were asked to take a pay cut, while at the
end of the 2009/10 season, the club had to make a public appeal
for funds to keep them out of administration, the report recalls.
This is Plymouth relates that since then Albion have been trying
to get stable again, but, despite making cuts to their playing
budget and trying to bring in more funding, a fall in attendances
and sponsorship this season has not helped, which is why they
accepted Mr. Passmore's offer to invest in the club.

Plymouth Albion Rugby Football Club is a rugby union club who
play in Plymouth, England.  The club was founded around 1915 from
a merger between Plymouth RFC and Devonport Albion RFC.  Since
2003 they have played their home games at The Brickfields
stadium.  Albion's traditional strip and club colors are white,
strawberry (red or cherry) and green.


ST. MICHAEL'S: Goes Into Administration, Closes School
------------------------------------------------------
North Devon Gazette reports that St Michael's School was closed
after it went administration.

The school and nursery will not reopen in January, according to
North Devon Gazette.

"It is with a heavy heart that I must inform you that St
Michael's is to close with immediate effect . . . .  The
governors have no option but to put the school into
administration and neither it, nor the nursery, will re-open in
January 2012," Chairman of Governors Mark Parkhouse said in a
letter to the public.

North Devon Gazette notes that Mr. Parkhouse said the decline in
pupil numbers - together with an unexpected withdrawal of 10
pupils at the end of the autumn term -- meant the school was no
longer financially viable.

The report relates that Mr. Parkhouse said the school had
investigated a number of options to secure the school's future,
including a merger with one of several charitable and commercial
groups of schools, but none had proved achievable.

The school approached the Methodist Independent Schools Trust,
who own Kingsley School, in Bideford, and Shebbear College, but
although a solution could not be found, both schools have said
they can offer places for children at their schools, North Devon
Gazette says.

West Buckland School Headmaster John Vick told North Devon
Gazette that his school had not been asked about a possible
merger but said it was doing all it could to accommodate children
whose parents wish them to transfer to West Buckland.

Headquartered in Tawstock, St Michael's School is a school and
nursery.


* UK: More Retail Sector Insolvencies Expected This Year
--------------------------------------------------------
Christopher Thompson and Mark Wembridge at The Financial Times
report that RCapital, a London-based business restructuring
consultancy, said the UK retail sector can expect "carnage" in
2012 as the number of insolvencies is expected to outstrip the
levels of 2008.

According to the FT, a combination of more shoppers buying online
and margin erosion could push large chain store retailers in
particular over the edge.

"The new year will trigger a round of retail insolvencies which
will outstrip 2008 -- big bricks-and mortar retailers, those with
50-500 shops, are the ones which will really take the pain," the
FT quotes Jamie Constable, RCapital's chief executive, as saying.
"With VAT payments pending, rents going up and margin erosion
you've got increasing costs everywhere and competition against
online businesses."

Figures from the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills
show that in 2008 a total of 349 retail companies, excluding
wholesale, retail and car companies, were declared insolvent in
England and Wales, the highest number since 2002, the FT
discloses.

Mr. Constable, as cited by the FT, said that the rise in retail
insolvencies would lead to more empty shops on the UK's high
streets.

"You're going to see a lot more boarded up shops on the high
streets as people go to out-of-town shopping centers, Bond Street
or online," the FT quotes Mr. Constable as saying.


* UK: More Business Failures Expected in Retail Sector This Year
----------------------------------------------------------------
Scott Reid at The Scotsman reports that Company Watch, which
rates the financial health of businesses worldwide using an
"H-Score" system, said Britain's battered high street faces a
fresh bruising in 2012 with stock-market-listed retailers likely
to be among the casualties.

According to the Scotsman, Company Watch said that a recent
flurry of failures, including lingerie specialist La Senza and D2
Jeans, suggested that many "vulnerable" retailers were "fighting
hard for survival".

Among those retailers propping up the "lower leagues" are Dixons,
HMV and Thorntons, each of which has reported dreary sales
figures in recent weeks, the Scotsman discloses.  The weakest
ratings were reserved for Clinton Cards, with a score of just
one, and up-for-sale Blacks Leisure, which gets zero points, the
Scotsman notes.

Company Watch said that since the launch of its H-Score system in
1998, it has identified nine out of ten corporate insolvencies or
restructurings in advance, the Scotsman relates.

Across all business sectors, the firm is forecasting an 18% hike
in UK corporate failures this year to 27,500, the Scotsman
states.

According to the Scotsman, Nick Hood, head of external affairs at
Company Watch, said: "With so many negative pressures bearing
down on consumer spending and the peak Christmas trading season
now behind them, it is difficult to see how the more financially
fragile retailers will make it through the barren retail winter."

"Their bankers, suppliers, landlords and the trade insurers will
all be focusing on which companies to support and how to mitigate
their potential losses on the less fortunate retailers," the
Scotsman quotes Mr. Hood as saying.  "Although the vast majority
of retailers going under will be SMEs, we can expect further
casualties among the high-profile companies trading on public
equity markets."


* UK: More Shops to Face Administration in Next Couple of Weeks
---------------------------------------------------------------
Harry Wallop at The Telegraph reports that Stephen Robertson, the
director general of the British Retail Consortium, said more
shops will collapse into administration or announce store
closures in the next couple of weeks, after suffering from
"profits squeezed to extinction" as well as a fall in sales over
Christmas.

According to the Telegraph, as many as 40,000 are expected to
lose their jobs, with more forced to work on reduced hours, as
the full force of the consumer slowdown starts to makes its
effects felt on the high street.

Mr. Robertson, as cited by the Telegraph, said that after the
collapse of Barratts Priceless, the shoe chain, Hawkin's Bazaar,
the toy shop and D2 Jeans, a clutch of other names are expected
to go to the wall.  He said that conditions were worse than at
the end of 2008, a period acknowledged to be the worst in a
generation for the high street and which saw the collapse of
Woolworths, Zavvi and MFI, the Telegraph notes.

"This feels, talking to retailers, that there is more pressure
than there was back in 2008.  Back then there had been a
relatively good run up until that point, and sales were certainly
down, but margins were holding up," the Telegraph quotes
Mr. Robertson as saying.  "This time, it's not just about the
poor sales performance it's about the underlying profitability.
We have seen a blizzard of deals and promotions, so gross profit
margins will have been punished."

This week is the start of the retailers' reporting season, when
chains reveal how well or poorly they have fared over Christmas,
the Telegraph discloses.

The Centre for Retail Research found that 31 major retail
companies fell into receivership in 2011, with 24,025 jobs
affected, the Telegraph relates.  This was far fewer than the 54
companies that failed in 2008, affecting 74,539 jobs, the
Telegraph states.

However, it has calculated that 7,485 jobs are already at risk at
the start of this year because of the expected entrance into
administration of La Senza and Past Times and the severe
financial difficulties being faced at Blacks Leisure, according
to the Telegraph.


* UK: PKF Says 25 Firms to Face Receivership Every Week in 2013
---------------------------------------------------------------
Herald Scotland reports that accountancy firm PKF said 25 firms
will go into receivership every week over the course of the next
year, possibly taking the total higher than last year's 1300
failures.

PKF warned that smaller firms will bear the brunt of the gloom
with larger businesses less likely to be affected, Herald
Scotland discloses.

PKF based its forecast on insolvency statistics in the third
quarter of last year which rose by 5.2% to 361 compared with the
previous three months, Herald Scotland notes.  They rose by 46.2%
compared with the same quarter of 2010, resulting in the largest
ever figure for a single quarter, Herald Scotland relates.

The accountancy firm pointed out that, as the second quarter of
2011 saw the previous highest ever quarterly figure, it is highly
likely the 1300 figure will be breached later this month when
fourth quarter figures are published,  according to Herald
Scotland.


* UK: Businesses in North More Likely to Fail, RSM Tenon Says
-------------------------------------------------------------
James Hurley at telegraph.co.uk reports that RSM Tenon said
businesses in the North East and North West of England were more
than one and a half times as likely to go bust than their
counterparts in the south in 2011.

The report relates that RSM said roughly one in every 40
companies in the North East and North West became insolvent this
year, compared with less than one in 70 in London and the South
East.

In the latest blow to the Coalition's plans to encourage a
manufacturing-led recovery, the research showed that companies
which are failing fastest in the North tend to be manufacturing
based, according to telegraph.co.uk.

"Sadly, it's a return to the old story: northern England used to
be geared towards industry, but, judged by proportion of
insolvencies, it appears that industry is still deserting it,"
the report quotes Carl Jackson, head of RSM Tenon's recovery
service, as saying.

"If you make furniture, industrial materials, pharmaceutical,
medical and toiletries, or work in the wood, paper and board
industry, you have a far higher chance of going bust if your
company is based in the North than if its headquarters are below
Watford."


* UK: Financial Stress Among Reasons of AIM Delistings
------------------------------------------------------
Michael Stothard at The Financial Times reports that turbulent
financial markets and economic uncertainty in Europe led to a
rise in the number of companies leaving the Alternative
Investment Market in the past three months.

The junior market suffered a net loss of eight companies in the
fourth quarter, landing a blow to the notion that Aim's fortunes
were beginning to turn after a tough few years since the
financial crisis, the FT discloses.

Hopes had been raised earlier in the year when third-quarter data
showed the first net additions to the exchange since 2007, the FT
relates.  But three months of market volatility, tough credit
conditions and renewed fears of recession have sapped the
strength of the small-cap sector, the FT notes.

According to the FT, research by UHY Hacker Young, the
accountancy group, found that 24 companies had delisted from Aim
in the final quarter of the year compared with 16 that joined.

Seven of the companies cited financial stress as a reason for
delisting, up from four in the previous quarter, the FT
discloses.

"Anaemic economic growth has meant worsening trading conditions
for many domestically focused Aim companies," the FT quotes
Laurence Sacker, partner at UHY Hacker Young, as saying.  "This
in turn has led to a rise in the number of groups being forced
off the Aim market."

The difficult conditions in recent months have encouraged some
Aim companies to delay their IPOs, suggesting there could be
pent-up demand for fundraising when the markets eventually
settle, according to the FT.


                            *********

Monday's edition of the TCR delivers a list of indicative prices
for bond issues that reportedly trade well below par.  Prices are
obtained by TCR editors from a variety of outside sources during
the prior week we think are reliable.  Those sources may not,
however, be complete or accurate.  The Monday Bond Pricing table
is compiled on the Friday prior to publication.  Prices reported
are not intended to reflect actual trades.  Prices for actual
trades are probably different.  Our objective is to share
information, not make markets in publicly traded securities.
Nothing in the TCR constitutes an offer or solicitation to buy or
sell any security of any kind.  It is likely that some entity
affiliated with a TCR editor holds some position in the issuers'
public debt and equity securities about which we report.

Each Tuesday edition of the TCR contains a list of companies with
insolvent balance sheets whose shares trade higher than US$3 per
share in public markets.  At first glance, this list may look
like the definitive compilation of stocks that are ideal to sell
short.  Don't be fooled.  Assets, for example, reported at
historical cost net of depreciation may understate the true value
of a firm's assets.  A company may establish reserves on its
balance sheet for liabilities that may never materialize.  The
prices at which equity securities trade in public market are
determined by more than a balance sheet solvency test.

A list of Meetings, Conferences and Seminars appears in each
Thursday's edition of the TCR. Submissions about insolvency-
related conferences are encouraged.  Send announcements to
conferences@bankrupt.com

Each Friday's edition of the TCR includes a review about a book
of interest to troubled company professionals.  All titles are
available at your local bookstore or through Amazon.com.  Go to
http://www.bankrupt.com/booksto order any title today.


                            *********


S U B S C R I P T I O N   I N F O R M A T I O N

Troubled Company Reporter-Europe is a daily newsletter co-
published by Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless Hills,
Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick, Maryland
USA.  Valerie U. Pascual, Marites O. Claro, Rousel Elaine T.
Fernandez, Joy A. Agravante, Ivy B. Magdadaro, Frauline S.
Abangan and Peter A. Chapman, Editors.

Copyright 2012.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1529-2754.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without prior
written permission of the publishers.

Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to
be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

The TCR Europe subscription rate is US$625 per half-year,
delivered via e-mail.  Additional e-mail subscriptions for
members of the same firm for the term of the initial subscription
or balance thereof are US$25 each.  For subscription information,
contact Peter Chapman at 240/629-3300.


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