The media company which owns the rights to Paddington Bear, Noddy and the Mr Men is on the verge of administration after it failed to find new funds.
Lenders to Chorion, a private equity-owned business, have lined up the accountant Deloitte as an administrator. Chorion could collapse into administration as soon as this week, which would be a blow to 3i, the private equity investor that has pumped £86m into the company.
Chorion has debts of about £70m, faced annual interest payments of £35m last year and breached the terms of its loans in March.
It is unclear if the administration will be for just the holding company or Chorion's trading entities as well. Both Chorion and Deloitte declined to comment.