Phillip Cook, the ex-Unwins owner and Australian tycoon, is planning to debut a new coffee shop concept in the UK, according to reports in the Daily Telegraph. Cook has a 90% stake in Merchant Group International, a company that runs a chain of cafés across Australia. It is understood to be looking at commuter belt towns across the UK for potential outlets. However, there could be a fly in the ointment, the newspaper said. Cook’s involvement in Merchant only came to light following the submission of an ongoing financial investigation undertaken by Unwins’ administrator KPMG. Merchant’s recent flotation on Ofex has also led to further accounting transparency, and it has emerged that several of its investors also held senior positions at Unwins. KPMG has, in addition, found cause for concern and submitted disqualification forms on the directors to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). One administrator told the Daily Telegraph that a large sum of money appeared to have been paid into one of Cook’s former financial vehicles. So far, there is no question that an offence has been committed, and the DTI will have to examine the evidence to determine whether action will be required. Unwins collapsed in December 2005, with the loss of around 2,000 jobs.