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Leading UK gay media and retail company goes bust

Leading UK gay media and retail company goes bust

Millivres Prowler has sold GT magazine

The team at long-running British gay magazine GT (formerly Gay Times), have announced that its former publishing company has gone into administration.

Millivres Prowler has been running for over 20 years. The company was the union of two pre-existing companies: publishers Millivres and retailer company Prowler.

The company has faced many challenges in recent years, including the increase in people shopping online, rising rents in London and falls in the number of people buying magazines and adult entertainment DVDs.

In 2014, Millivres Prowler Ltd became a subsidiary company to a new holding company, Millivres Prowler Group Ltd. According to the 2014 press release, majority shareholders of this company were entrepreneur James Frost and long-running MPG associate and shareholder Simon Topham.

Since then, MPG has sold its women’s magazine, Diva, and closed its Expectations store in Shoreditch (the business continues as an online retailer).

A statement posted today on the GT website says that Frost has now taken over GT completely: ‘Gay Times magazine and have been bought by investor and entrepreneur James Frost.

‘The world’s longest running magazine for gay and bi men will continue to publish its print and digital editions uninterrupted as a new and independent company: Gay Times Limited.’

It says the magazine will rebrand itself as Gay Times.

‘Gay Times was purchased from Millivres Prowler Ltd, which has gone into administration.’

‘In a year during which we celebrate 50 years since the partial decriminalization of male homosexuality in England and Wales, it’s more important than ever to see the LGBT community standing on its own two feet and claiming its place in the world,’ James Frost said in the statement.

‘With the current global political climate, we feel compelled to stand up and stand out with pride. As such, we’ve decided to reclaim our original name: Gay Times.’

Darren Scott, Gay Times editor added: ‘We have been a voice for the global LGBT community for four decades and it’s important that we continue to speak our name loudly and proudly.

‘A confluence of events means we’ve been able to reclaim our heritage and our independence, and we couldn’t be happier.’

‘Discussions are also well advanced with a potential purchaser for the other parts of the business’

Although GT will continue, there is uncertainty over what is happening to the other parts of the Millivres Prowler Group business empire.

The company operates Prowler stores in Soho and Brighton, and retail websites.

Companies House lists several businesses at the MPG registered address in Stratford, East London: Millivres Prowler; Millivres Prowler Group; HC 1236 Limited; and Heart of Soho Limited. Robert Hanwell, company secretary for all four businesses, resigned last week.

Paul Pittman and Guy Harrison of Price Bailey LLP were appointed Joint Administrators of Millivres Prowler Limited today. In a statement, Pittman said, ‘We are delighted to have found a buyer for this iconic part of the MPL business and are working on achieving a sale for the other parts.

‘Although the company has entered an administration process, the sale of Gay Times has secured the jobs for all 11 staff members of the magazine.

‘Discussions are also well advanced with a potential purchaser for the other parts of the business and we hope to be in a position to make a further announcement in the next 14 days.’

GSN has contacted Price Bailey for further comment.