New Black Velvet owner?
Eastleigh based operator, Black Velvet, has been the source of much speculation of late, with new owners that at the time of going to press have not been revealed. The company went into receivership then out again in a short space of time. The company Tweeted it had new owners, with its services going back on the road two days after announcing it had ceased trading due to financial difficulties. Insolvency specialists from Chantrey Vellacott were called in by the Director of Black Velvet Travel, Phil Stockley, on 10 July. Liquidators were expected to be appointed in the following weeks but were not required thanks to the intervention of the new owner. Replacement operators were found for some of the operator’s services, with Wheeler’s Travel operating the company’s ‘A’ service. Eastleigh based Xelabus has taken over five of the services. Bluestar took on its S1, S2, B4 and 502 routes on an emergency contract from Southampton City Council until 21 July.
Partner and Restructuring Specialist at Chantrey Vellacott, Matthew Fox, said, ‘After being alerted by news of the failure of Black Velvet Travel Ltd an interested party has come forward with a proposition which could see Velvet buses return to the road.
After lengthy negotiations an interim agreement has been reached which will see services recommence on Friday morning on routes A, S1, S2, B4, M and 503. Negotiations for a permanent arrangement with the potential buyer are continuing while a full recovery plan is put in place. We are in regular dialogue with Southampton City Council.’
Fellow Eastleigh operator, Xelabus, has made two attempts to take over Black Velvet in recent times, but withdrew on both occasions. Philip Blair of Xelabus confirmed his company was not the new owners. Attempts to contact Black Velvet were unsuccessful. In a press release from Chantrey Vellacott, Phil Stockley said, ‘The efforts and commitment of the team over the last six years have been exemplary and we hope the process will be as smooth as possible for all concerned.’