Erinaceous Group entered administration yesterday, weighed down by debts of more than £250m and bringing to an end a corporate tale of rapid expansion and equally rapid decline. Financial Times, The Times, Daily Telegraph

KPMG’s Jim Tucker and Myles Halley were appointed joint administrators.

The shares were frozen yesterday at 1.65p, valuing the equity at £1.77m. In March 2006 the shares reached a peak of about 400p. Last summer a bid proposal from HBOS was discussed at 300p a share.

The administrators said Erinaceous’s insurance subsidiary had been ring-fenced and would be sold to a vehicle owned by the group’s banks within days.

Two other divisions, the residential management business and property maintenance division, would remain outside any insolvency process and trade as normal.