Re: Too late...
"Bonuses were paid in December and they went bust in January. That just soesn't sound right does it?"
Does to me. Ignoring the rare situations where external and unforseeable events conspire to put a company out of business overnight, normally when a company goes bust the problems are clearly evident for many months, even years. However, the directors plough on, either in denial, or hoping to keep afloat long enough to sell the business to some mug. In either case the directors will take their share of the trough right up to the last minute (and beyond, if they can claim some knowledge of value to the administrators), and the sales force bonuses are actually part of routine compensation and so get paid until the money runs out.
Rarely is any business with a decent turnover beyond saving, if the directors will address the problems. But all too often they won't take uncomfortable decisions, and they often don't even know the true profitability and free cash flow of the different parts of the business. You wouldn't board an aircraft flown by an untrained pilot wearing a blindfold, but that's how quite a lot of companies operate. They find that serial, debt fuelled acquisitions are good fun and cause rising turnover and profits, without ever paying attention to the underlying business performance of either existing or acquired business. The auditors and the audit committee often aren't demanding enough on the quality of booked sales and the quality of receivables...and then you find that you've run out of cash, breached your covenants, and the bank have control of your business. The banks have until recently quite liked this, as it happens, because they could quite often sell the business on at a fat margin to a friendly PE house, renewing the senior debt, maybe pocketing some nice warrants against a future sale, and taking a fat transaction fee (along with the lawyers, the administrators, the accountants).
In the case of 2e2 it didn't work out this way, that suggests that the underlying business was too rancid to be worthy of buying, and we can only speculate why that might be so.