Almtone-owned Canute Group has narrowly avoided being wound up by HMRC after the taxman raised a petition against it. This came as the amount the firm owed to creditors ballooned to more than £135,000.

The unadvertised winding up petition from HMRC was launched on 13 November and settled on 15 November, according to Companies House, after being paid in full.

However, the process prevented Pallet-Track, Canute’s former pallet network, raising its own petition against the company.

Pallet-Track is pursuing Canute for an unpaid debt of more than £47,000.

MT understands that following the serving of a statutory 21-day notice on Almtone in October, which was uncontested, Canute’s owner then challenged the validity of the debt after notice of a winding up petition was served.

This prevented Pallet-Track from joining the HMRC petition (the process in law is to join a live petition rather than raise your own) and Canute and its former pallet network will now have to attend a court hearing to establish the validity of the debt claim.

Canute Group sales director David Emslie previously claimed: “The Pallet-Track [debt] will be settled in good time before any necessity for a winding-up order.”

The action came as county court judgments (CCJs) against Almtone/Canute reached 10 with a collective value of £90,922, a total that has steadily climbed during the past few months.

Ahead of the logistics firm’s pre-pack administration in May, Canute Haulage Group had 23 CCJs against it and owed creditors close to £212,000.

Following the sale of the business for £1.3m to Almtone on 12 May, administrator FRP Advisory calculated that creditors of the original Canute would ultimately face a £5.3m shortfall.

Eight O-licence applications by Almtone, giving the trading name of Canute Logistics, remain under consideration by the Office of the Traffic Commissioner as they have been for the majority of the year.

The company was not available for comment as this article was published.