"Quite why Rutland has created such a complex corporate structure for Maplin is not immediately apparent, but I suspect it may have something to do with tax, or rather avoiding it."
Could it be a shell game - move lots of money (or debt) around, and hope that no-one can keep track of where it's all gone until it's too late. I can't help thinking that the purchase might have been funded with borrowing by the parent, but somehow that parent has borrowed money through the bought business and repaid it's own loans. So when the bought company goes titsup*, the debt is loaded onto that, and it's other creditors that lose out while the parent is laughing all the way to the bank.
In this case, total inability to support usual peddling (of electronics stuff).