This article is a response to Patrick Fridenson’s call for more research into the life cycle of enterprises and especially into business failure. Its subject is the textile group established in 1945 by Cyril Lord, which went on to encompass merchanting, manufacturing, retailing, and finance, operating in the United Kingdom, the United States, and South Africa. Using unpublished records as well as the financial and trade press, the article explains the nature of Lord’s financial, mercantile, and manufacturing networks, and his rapid growth, based on product innovation, novel sales techniques, and massive advertising. The article then examines his subsequent insolvency and receivership in 1968. It contributes to our understanding of corporate failure and the role of the receiver, financial institutions, and government in that process.