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Firms owed millions by builder could get ‘small’ payout back

PUBLISHED: 13:35 02 June 2020 | UPDATED: 08:57 03 June 2020

Chalcroft's offices in King's Lynn (left) closed in February 2019 when the firm went into administration. Pictured right is Chalcroft's former chairman and shareholder Mark Reeve. Photo: Archant

Chalcroft's offices in King's Lynn (left) closed in February 2019 when the firm went into administration. Pictured right is Chalcroft's former chairman and shareholder Mark Reeve. Photo: Archant

Archant

Businesses owed millions of pounds by a building firm could get a small fraction of their money back, but investigations into it are still underway.

The former Chalcroft offices in King's Lynn  Picture: Chris BishopThe former Chalcroft offices in King's Lynn Picture: Chris Bishop

Chalcroft Ltd and its two sister companies went into administration in February 2019, owing more than £12m to suppliers, the taxman, bank and staff.

More than a year later some its properties have now been sold and the company’s administrator, McTear Williams and Wood said it was “hopeful” of a “small dividend” for creditors.

But they cautioned: “This is dependent upon the outcome of debtor realisations and our investigations and the cost of realisation and administration.”

Their latest report, published in May, showed that the costs of the administration have now reached more then £243,000 - and that sum will have to be taken out of any money they do get back from Chalcroft.

The report also revealed further investigations are needed into transactions made by Chalcroft Ltd before it collapsed.

They said they had identified “various transactions which the company entered into” which need “more detailed investigation”.

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The administrator said those investigations were confidential but would be reported to the company’s creditors when done.

The report also said land and property owned by Chalcroft companies had been sold, but they had fetched far less than their valuations.

Chalcroft Property Developments had two plots of land valued at £1.9m, but they sold for three times less than that, at £580,000.

The administrator said the values were “very historic” and the land was openly marketed.

Chalcroft Ltd, meanwhile, has land and property worth £360,000 which has not yet been sold but a buyer has been identified, the report said.

Money from the sales of the land and property is set to go to the bank, leaving little for tradesmen owed tens of thousands of pounds.

When it collapsed, the firm owed a total of £12.3m to around 420 creditors, including £5.8m to suppliers. Some Norfolk businesses were owed six-figure sums.

It also owed £3.2m to its bank, £1.1m to the taxman and £530,000 to staff in wages and redundancy pay.

This newspaper revealed last year that its top-paid director had a 70pc pay rise.


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