UK cloud operator UKCloud, used by the UK government to handle data and applications for the likes of the NHS and military, has entered liquidation.

“On 25 October 2022, the Companies UKCloud Limited and Virtual Infrastructure Group Limited were placed into Liquidation with the Official Receiver appointed as Liquidator and J Robinson and A M Hudson simultaneously appointed as Special Managers to manage the liquidation process on behalf of the Official Receiver,” the company said on its website this week.

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– Thinkstock / Luke Abrahams

On its website, the UK government said the company was given “winding-up orders” and the Official Receiver will investigate the cause of the company’s insolvency and the conduct of current and former directors.

“The Official Receiver, with the assistance of the Special Managers, is maintaining operations whilst the liquidation strategy is being developed. The strategy will consider the provision of services, transition of contracts and whether a sale is viable,” the government said.

Founded in 2011 as Skyscape Cloud Services and rebranded to UKCloud in August 2016, the company occupies Ark Data Centres facilities in Farnborough, Hampshire, and Corsham, Wiltshire, targeting UK government customers.

In January 2022, the company was acquired by Hadston 2 Limited, an investment vehicle led by UKCloud founder and chairman Jeff Thomas and backed by UKCloud’s existing institutional investors including BGF Group plc and Digital Alpha. The companies said the acquisition was part of Hadston 2’s 'strategic vision' to build a group of leading companies in the digital infrastructure space and would facilitate the expansion of UKCloud’s product portfolio and platform.

However, at the time, The Times said the company had been “rescued from collapse” through the deal, and that civil servants had been preparing for its collapse for months.

According to Computer Weekly – which last year reported the company was in trouble – the Cabinet Office started briefing the firm’s customers at the start of October to begin transitioning to new suppliers, with the company predicted to collapse within weeks. Cabinet Office officials told the publication that public sector organizations “were made aware of the publicly available information regarding UKCloud’s financial situation, as is standard for all suppliers”.

A Cabinet Office spokesperson said the organization “regularly monitors the health of key suppliers” and has “contingency plans in place to ensure the continuity of public services” and that it does not expect UKCloud's demise to disrupt any public services.

“The vast majority of departments that used UKCloud have already moved onto alternative systems. Those who remain on UKCloud will find alternative arrangements as soon as possible, while continuing to operate.

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