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Suppliers waiting for £12m payout 10 months after construction firm collapse

PUBLISHED: 15:30 02 January 2020 | UPDATED: 15:30 02 January 2020

The former Chalcroft offices in King's Lynn shut owing £12m. Picture: Chris Bishop

The former Chalcroft offices in King's Lynn shut owing £12m. Picture: Chris Bishop

Archant

Liquidators have been unable to confirm whether any of the £12m debt accumulated by a Norfolk construction firm will be repaid to its creditors.

Chalcroft Ltd went into liquidation in March 2019, having paid its highest earning bosses £950,000 according to the last accounts before its collapse. 
Since then three liquidators have been appointed to look into the King's Lynn-based company - including one hired solely for investigating its collapse.

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Libertas Associates has been hired by creditors to probe all areas of the business - including the behaviour of its former directors.

A spokesman for Libertas said: "We are required by best practice and statute to review all aspects of the Directors' conduct, together with the trading of the Company prior to liquidation and reasons for ultimate failure."

Under the Insolvency Act this will include looking into wrongful or fraudulent trading.

The spokesman added: "We will also take into consideration information supplied by creditors, other professionals and third parties holding additional documentation."

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Liquidators at Hudson Weir have also been appointed to investigate the company, with Norwich's McTear Williams and Wood handling factors including the sale of assets and administration.

The Libertas spokesman went on: "At this stage, we are not in a position to estimate the likely timing or quantum of any dividend to creditors."

He added that liquidators reports are published annually within two months of the anniversary of liquidation date.

At the time of its collapse, creditors confirmed that they were owed sums of up to six figures.

The majority shareholders of Chalcroft's holding company are brothers Mark and David Reeve, who was Chalcroft's finance director.

Chalcroft's latest accounts for 2017 - 20 months before its collapse - show its holding company paid its top-earning director £258,000 in 2017.

This was a 70pc pay rise on the year before - while the directors who own the company were given a total of £158,000 in dividends in 2016 and 2017.

In 2017 directors were paid £950,000 in remuneration. That was a fifth of the company's entire staff costs and a 50pc increase on the year before.

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