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English clarification request

Reading through Netcrafts archives, I came across this vaguely-relevant-to-me-because-I'm-writing-a-white-paper tidbit:

"Mandrake falls into Administration
This week Mandrake became the first major Linux distribution to fall into administration. The survey finds around 88,000 sites running Mandrake, and the distribution also enjoys a reasonable following on the desktop. "

Question is: anyone know what they mean by "falls into Administration"?

It occurred to me that if "falling into administration" means that the usage distribution is high, then I could draw one set of conclusions from the commentary re: making the distributions available prior to the boxed sets.  If it means that the usage distribution is low, I could draw a completely different set of conclusions.

Anyone care to comment?

Not my real name
Thursday, April 3, 2003

Based on the context of the entries I found by Googling, it appears to be another way of saying "went bankrupt."

Thursday, April 3, 2003

In this context, going into "Administration" means going into "receivership", or an "Administrator" (in the financial sense of the word) has been appointed (typically by a court). In the US, it's called "Chapter 11 re-organization".

Philip Dickerson
Thursday, April 3, 2003

"Tits Up"

Mitch & Murray (from downtown)
Thursday, April 3, 2003

Is it a Britishism?  I've never heard it before.

Thursday, April 3, 2003

"Falls into" is a bit of an odd way of saying it, but the others are right - it has gone into receivership. That does not mean the end of the company necessarily, the receivers try to get the company back on the rails again by imposing strict budget controls, negotiating with creditors, etc.

Friday, April 4, 2003

It's not quite the same as chapter 11, because the creditors can still issue winding up orders against the company, but it's a decent sign to them that doing so isn't worth the effort.

Companies do make it out of adminstration - often after a buy-out by either the management team or by a larger company that wants some of the assets. That's what's known as "selling the company as a going concern", but frankly the more usual outcome is that the company pays off debts as best it can and vanishes.

The point is that the administrators don't have a loyalty to the company - their obligation is (if I read this stuff correctly when I did) to the creditors to try and settle the debts in the best way possible, including keeping the company running if that's the best way to do it.

The protection comes from the fact that having an administrator phone you up and tell you you can 20p in the pound on your debt now or wait a bit and they might be able to get you 50p tends to carry a bit more weight than the directors doing it.

Receivership is a bit different in that at the time the company enters that, everyone's accepted it isn't going to make it, and the receivers are shutting the thing down with a view to paying debts if possible, with as gentle a bump for all concerned as possible.

Administration is a more informal process than the legal process of issuing a winding-up order which is the sort of equivalent of US chapter 7 bankruptcy - you have to go to court and prove you can pay debts or the court appoints receivers to wind the company with no argument. And it's something the company volunteers for rather being told to do.

Katie Lucas
Friday, April 4, 2003

Actually, because MandrakeSoft is France-based, the law is certainly slightly different.
According to Yahoo News, their status is "redressement judiciaire" until July.

Friday, April 4, 2003

It's not typical British english. We would say 'go into administration'; maybe it's a translation from the French?

Rik Garner
Friday, April 4, 2003

Enough of this British English, be it  condemnéd as a calumny and falsehood.

English is English.  Others might have their peculiar varieties of usage and spelling. 

Simon Lucy
Saturday, April 5, 2003

"English is English" except when used by americans.

Monday, April 7, 2003

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