I wanted to keep a list of companies that became insolvent since the start of Covid-19 period. I have made use of media reports as well as company sources to verify their status.
Some of these businesses have decided to close for good and undergo liquidation processes, selling off their assets for as much cash as they could get. Others have filed for court protection against creditors to give them ample time to work out a get well plan. I have included companies in both of these scenarios.
On many occassions, we cannot simply put a blame on Covid-19 for these business problems. Some of the businesses have faced issues way before Covid-19 struck. It could be due to intense competition or a lack of product-market fit. Covid-19 was just a nail to the coffin.
I segmented the list to 5 parts as some industries such as F&B, airlines and retail had more cases.
Most importantly, this is NOT meant to be a list of shame. In fact, it is the opposite – let’s salute these entrepreneurs who have taken the risks to build something for our society.
I tried to incorporate their stories as much as possible. Businesses are run by real people, with passion, blood, sweat and tears. Their enterprises may be gone, but their stories live on.
FInd out how defensive portfolios weather the Covid-19 virus in this post.
Jok Jok Mor (which means “Porridge in a Pot” in Thai) is a casual Thai restaurant that offers authentic Thai porridge served with a twist. Used to ply its trade at Rangoon Road.
A modern sushi and highball bar nestled in the CBD area.
It was part of the portfolio restaurants under Coterie Dining Concepts. The company was run by sisters Sharon and Sandra Sim, and Tay Eu-Yen. Besides Chi Kinjo, Coterie has Sum Yi Tai, Mona Lounge, and club Eliza under its wing.
Located at the rooftop of Village Hotel Changi, the Italian restaurant has been operating for 17 years. Nicholas Lim is the founder and he said that business has already fallen by as much as 70 per cent just before the circuit breaker.
Even staple zichar food was not spared. Tian Wei Seafood stall was operating at Tagore Lane. Probably as workers stayed home, they lost the crowd during lunch hours.
One of the popular hunts in Holland Village. They have been operating for 20 years!
I managed to dig out an interview with the founder, Kang Soo Koon. You can read about his entrepreneurship journey,
For Breko, we opened 4 outlets and closed 3 of them. I do not consider that as an achievement. But as time goes by, I was proud that I was able to keep a team of staff that has stuck with me through thick and thin for over 10 years. After a lot of tough lessons, we managed to pull through and opened subsidiaries of Breko such as Refuel cafe at Bedok Reservoir and Fuel Plus café at Morse Road. Therefore, my proudest business achievements are that I have a loyal team of staff and the expansion of the business.
The founder of this pub, Yvonne Yeo, told her side of her story. She was evicted by the landlord for missing rent even when her deposit could more than cover for the amount owed.
Toh Ee Ming is the founder of Oromo Coffee and his self-ordering initiative was commended by PM Lee at the launch of National Productivity Month. Besides this cafe, he owns a Subway franchise too.
It was more than 10 years ago when I first dined at Kuishin Bo with my Air Force buddies. I had a great experience and I will always remember the iconic announcement whenever a special dish is available.
A rare Ma La Tang establishment that’s Halal certified.
The Company noted the impact of the Enhanced Measures on Hashida Sushi as stated above
and performed a strategic review of the viability of Hashida Sushi. It has decided to permanently
close Hashida Sushi with effect from 30 April 2020
A steakhouse along Sembawang Road.
I believe the founder is a Vietnamese as the Facebook writing seems like it was translated from another language. Saw good reviews on many food websites.
I patronised the bar with a bunch of financial bloggers. It was a cosy place and I remembered it was pretty packed and finding a spot was tough. Covid-19 was especially tough for the bars. Chua Ee Chien is the founder of Jekyll & Hyde and he shared intimate details about the revenue and costs in this interview.
22 Jun 2020 Update: The story continues. Jekyll & Hyde opened another outlet along Neil Road. Do support them!
Ashok Melwani is the founder of Modesto’s and had two outlets. One at The Elizabeth Hotel and another at Orchard Rendezvous Hotel. The restaurants have been operating for 17 years and 23 years respectively.
Singaporean’s favourite drink – bubble tea. But still, Teafolia couldn’t survive past the Circuit Breaker period. They are looking for buyers for the business currently.
A KTV bar and club located at International Building (Orchard Road), right next to the Thai embassy in Singapore. Shut down after 2 years. D’Underground is owned by Strumm’s Holdings.
Another restaurant under Strumm’s Holdings.
A spokesperson from Strumm’s Holding, which owns Meats N Malts, said that most of its customers were office workers in the area and most of them have not returned to work since the circuit breaker.
This is one of my favourite drinking holes. Freshly brewed unique flavoured beers. Lychee beer anyone? The Starker Group is part of a bigger entity, YSQ International.
A very scenic place and some couples have held their wedding ceremonies on the premise. Closing down at the end of Jun 2020.
Juwanda Hassim is the founder of The Fabulous Baker Boy and here’s a casual interview to find out more about the man behind this bakery.
I love the scenic Punggol Settlement and the eateries are often crowded. I guess Covid-19 killed the crowd. One of the tenants, Inspirit House, is closing their business at the end of Aug 2020. Support them while you can!
Smartly was one of tne earliest roboadvisors in Singapore. The startup was acquired by VinaCapital in 2019 but still couldn’t keep the it going amidst competition from other players.
The online video streaming wars have been intensifying with big players like Disney and Apple coming into the space. HOOQ is majority owned by Singtel and the service ended as of 30 Apr 2020.
A sofa maker. Used to be a listed company but has since filed for insolvency protection (paywall).
ZenRock is in the oil and gas business which has been a struggling industry. It owes more than US$600m and have filed for moratorium relief.
This was a juicy story about the founder of Hin Leong, hiding trading losses amounting to over S$1 billion. Hin Leong Trading is a pivotal oil and gas trader in Singapore and now it is placed under judicial management.
A property listing portal and a subsidiary of SPH. Applied for judicial management on 19 May 2020.
A car sharing company in Singapore. The business model should work here since cars are expensive. However, Smove was not allowed to operate during the Circuit Breaker period and it could have been too hard for them to survive it. The company is undergoing liquidation now.
This is disastrous news to the children and parents alike.
I used to patronise the outlets to get my soccer boots and gears. But I guess it lost its competitive advantage when e-commerce came about. Covid-19 puts a nail in the coffin and Sportslink wound up on 3 Jul 2020 after creditors went after it.
Co-founded by British billionaire Richard Branson and former CEO Brett Godfrey. Virgin Australia is one of the largest airlines operating in Australia. It announced that it will go through voluntary administration on 21 Apr 2020.
Luftfahrgesellschaft Walter or LGW for short, was a German regional airline headquartered in Düsseldorf. Filed for bankruptcy on 22 Apr 2020.
A regional airline for the US state of Alaska plans to liquidate.
Second largest airline in South America. Based in Colombia. Filed for bankruptcy.
The national carrier of Thailand. Currently undergoing restructuring of its debt.
The largest airline in Latin America. Based in Santiago, Chile, the airline has filed for bankruptcy.
Touted as the worlds largest costume manufacturer & supplier for Halloween has filed for bankruptcy.
Neiman Marcus is an American chain of luxury departmental stores and has filed for bankruptcy.
One of my favourite shoe shops. The Canadian fashion brand has filed for bankruptcy protection.
With more than US$140 million in debt, menswear fashion John Varvatos, has filed for bankruptcy.
Modell’s Sporting Goods is an American sporting goods retailer with locations in the Northeastern United States. It has filed bankruptcy.
A long troubled American department store chain that has finally threw in the towel and filed for bankruptcy.
Another American retailer bites the dust. J.Crew filed for bankruptcy.
A Japanese multi-brand apparel company filed for bankruptcy.
A Canadian retailing company specializing in women’s clothing has filed for bankruptcy protection.
An American home furnishing retailer filed for bankruptcy.
The supplement retailer has filed for bankruptcy on 23 Jun 2020. Closing 800 out of 1,200 stores and looking to sell the business.
Founded in 1818, the well-known retailer has filed for bankruptcy on 8 Jul 2020. It has over 700 stores around the world.
The minimalist home goods retailer, Muji, has filed for bankruptcy in the US on 10 Jul 2020.
An internet satellite company based in both UK and US. One of Softbank’s portfolio companies and had successfully launched 74 of the planned 648 satellites before it filed for bankruptcy.
An American shale oil company filed for bankruptcy.
Despite raising US$126.5m, online stock broking firm Motif, couldn’t keep the lights on and had to file for bankruptcy.
An offshore drilling contractor filed for bankruptcy.
A major Malaysian magazine publisher with titles such as Cleo, Her World, Cosmopolitan and Shape has closed down. It is also a subsidiary of SPH.
An American chain of gyms with over 50 years of operating history has filed for bankruptcy.
An agriculture trader based in UAE is undergoing liquidation.
A trucking service company in the US has filed for bankruptcy.
A manufacturer of store fixtures and architectural millwork for leading luxury retailers around the globe. Some clients include Starbucks, Dior, Longchamp and Chanel. It has filed for bankruptcy.
Second-largest US car rental company with a 100-year operating history has filed for bankruptcy.
A favourite haunt of Bruce Lee’s family, this historic hotel will be closing and has been put up for sale.
Wirecard filed for insolvency on 25 Jun 2020 after declaring US$2.1 billion worth of cash missing from its accounts.
The German wheel manufacturer has filed for insolvency on its 50th anniversary.
P.S. Please let me know if I have missed out other companies or if there are new entries to be added in the comments below.