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Unilad viral publisher goes into administration

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The firm that owns viral news website Unilad has gone into administration, putting hundreds of jobs at risk.

Bentley Harrington has debts of £6.5m, including owing £1.5m to the UK taxman.

The Unilad Facebook account has 39 million followers and posts viral videos and news stories.

Unilad, which has offices in London and Manchester, was founded in 2010. It was shut down in 2012, but relaunched in 2014 under new owners Liam Harrington and Sam Bentley.

It was named as one of Facebook’s most popular pages last year.

Manchester-based administrators Leonard Curtis Business Rescue and Recovery say they are “seeking offers for the business in order to preserve jobs and maximise the return to creditors”.

It is understood that the company employs in excess of 200 people.

Administration came after a hearing at a specialist Insolvency and Companies Court in London, where Judge Clive Jones heard that a creditor and directors of the firm agreed that administrators should be appointed.

HM Revenue and Customs officials were also not against administrators being appointed.

Unilad founder Alex Partridge told the court he was owed £5m and argued for the company to be placed into administration.

Lawyers for Bentley Harrington had initially argued against administration, but withdrew their objections.

HM Revenue and Customs officials have issued a petition to wind up Bentley Harrington in separate litigation, with that case coming to court on 31 October.

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