Principal Distribution folded last week, ending months of speculation about its financial stability, during which time most of the distributor's key vendors deserted it.
Mike Seery and Peter Terry of KPMG Corporate Recovery were appointed joint receivers of the North Yorkshire distributor on 11 August. Principal has ceased trading with the loss of 30 jobs - 25 at its Skipton premises and five at a satellite office in Uxbridge.
According to sources, Principal's offices were being "stripped of furniture and equipment for auction" almost as soon as the receivers were appointed.
A spokeswoman for KPMG said the receivers were not looking to sell the business as a going concern. "Principal couldn't fund its obligations due to the high sales volumes and revised credit terms that were imposed on it by its creditors and the implications of this on its cash flow," she added.
The development comes just six weeks after Rod McMillan, chief executive and chairman of Principal, sold 49 per cent of the business to a three-strong management team led by managing director Jon Pritchard (PC Dealer, 21 July). McMillan also stepped down to become non-executive chairman.
Principal's collapse did not come as much of a surprise to the industry.
The only remaining questions concern the size and number of unpaid debts.
"It has lost Media 100, Mitsubishi, Meta Tools, Motorola - and that's just the Ms," said one source.
Andy Eakins, UK general manager at Hermstedt, said: "Physics finally took over from economics because it was defying gravity for so long. It makes you wonder what the MBO was about."
Aled Miles, regional director of UK and Ireland at Symantec, said: "It's very sad news about a distributor that had an extremely good name in the market for such a long time."
James Sanson, managing director of Computers Unlimited, which is currently being sued by Principal after CU was awarded the exclusive Symantec contract for the Macintosh market, said: "It shows how badly financed the company was and also reveals the lawsuit as a charade."
Principal's former management and McMillan were unavailable for comment.
UK-based MSP snaps up Qunifox, bolstering its Benelux arm to 125 employees
Credit guru Eddie Pacey emphasises that good credit control is vital as he reminisces on a case involving an Essex-based reseller
Customers offered trade-in discount of up to 30 per cent as part of vendor's new channel recruitment programme
From whaling and USB attacks to third-party exploitation, what will be the biggest threats facing end users next year? We asked execs at eight cyber-security resellers and consultancies to name their picks