One of Britain's largest providers of plastic surgery has been sold in a structured settlement to protect it from a potential multi-million pound tax bill.
Sky News understands that the Harley Medical Group has been transferred by RCapital, a return investor, to Skin, a privately-supported chain of dermatology clinics.
Sources said on Friday that the sale to Skin had been done through a prepackaged administration by accounting firm BDO.
They added that the insolvency proceedings were at least partially motivated by the desire to protect Harley Medical from a future VAT invoice following a lengthy dispute over the application of tax to cosmetic surgery procedures.
Harley Medical, which operates in about 20 clinics in the United Kingdom, was acquired by Rcapital seven years ago.
It offers a variety of cosmetic surgery procedures as well as laser and skin treatment.
Skin's acquisition of the company, backed by private equity investor TriSpan, allows for the formation of a larger group of medical services.
Although the plastic surgery industry has grown rapidly in Britain over the past decade, the figures produced by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons in May revealed only a 0.1% increase in the number of procedures performed last year.
TriSpan and Rcapital declined to comment.