Bentley Global has filed accounts for August 2019, 5 months overdue (even after allowing for the Covid 3 month extension). In doing so it has earned a reprieve from a strike-off action issued by Companies House in November and suspended the following month.
Bentley Global’s August 2018 accounts showed that it had raised £4.8 million in its bonds paying 12 – 20% per year. That figure swelled to £8.6 million by August 2019.
The accounts are unaudited and did not include a profit and loss account, despite CEO and former chartered accountant Alan Bentley claiming
We’re not going to hide – every month we’re going to publish our figures fully audited so our clients can see exactly what we’re earning
What can be gleaned from the limited information released by Bentley Global is:
- Despite the amount owed to investors increasing by £3.8 million, current assets increased by only £1.2 million.
- While the company did not file a profit and loss account, the movement in the “profit and loss account” on the balance sheet shows a loss of £5.3 million. Around £2.8 million of that represents the depreciation in value of the magic algorithm that Bentley Global uses to generate its returns from sports betting. This algorithm was modestly valued at £27 million in 2017 despite apparently being capable of generating returns of up to 20%pa from betting on football.
- £540,000 has been invested in betting pools – on a book cost basis (i.e. the amount put in the accounts). How much is in the accounts now is not stated, despite the aforementioned commitment to “publish our figures fully audited”. Bentley Global claims, as it did last year, that “the undue time and cost of valuing the asset by the director does not warrant establishing a true and fair value”.
- Another £4 million is booked in accruals and deferred income and other debtors.
Seems to me that after taking 17 months to file the accounts, it wouldn’t have been that hard for Bentley Global to obtain values as at August for what was in its betting pools, perhaps while football was suspended due to the pandemic.
The directors state that there are no material uncertainties over whether the company can continue as a going concern.
Bentley Global allegedly stopped paying interest on its bonds last year, citing the pandemic. Whether it has been able to catch up now that football is back on again (and it is worth noting that most of the matches that Bentley Global wasn’t able to bet on during Lockdown 1 did eventually happen) is unclear.
The big test for Bentley Global has arrived as the first capital repayments of its three-year bonds fell due in November 2020. [This sentence was originally written as if November 2020 was in the future – thanks Charlie for spotting.]