Firms unlikely to be paid after Camerons collapse

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ACCOUNTS shared with businesses owed money by collapsed building firm Camerons show that it is unlikely that any will get paid – despite the contractor having £5.7 million on its books.

The company failed at the end of last month, citing spiralling material and labour costs, strains in the supply chain and problematic contracts, as well as the impact of the pandemic and Brexit. Forty-five Camerons employees were made redundant.

Earlier this week, firms owed money by the contractor were invited to a meeting, where the joint liquidators of the company – who are tasked with winding Camerons down and paying what they can to creditors – were appointed.

Creditors were also given details of the financial health of the company by directors of Camerons.

They show that Camerons has £7.635m of liabilities but only £163,000 available to pay secured creditors, which include staff, Social Security and the Tax Office, and no money to pay unsecured creditors, such as sub-contractors.

Picture: DAVID FERGUSON. (35520541)

Camerons’ ‘statement of affairs’ – prepared by the firm and seen by the JEP – shows that the company has £249,000 of ‘non-current assets’ such as plant, vehicles and land.

Of that, £102,000 is ‘realisable’ – meaning it is believed it can be accessed by the liquidators to pay people owed.

When it comes to ‘current assets’ – assets which are more liquid, such as cash – Camerons has £5.673m on its books.

Of that, just £61,000 is estimated to be available to liquidators. In total, the amount available for secured creditors before the costs of winding up the company are taken into account is £163,000.

The ‘non-realisable’ parts of the £5.673m include a £2.250m loan from the contractor to Camerons’ parent company, Garenne Construction Group Ltd – none of which can be reclaimed, say Camerons – and contractual debts amounting to £3,280,000 of which only £50,000 is realisable.

Preferred creditors include £35,000 owed to Camerons staff, £55,000 owed to Social Security and £93,000 owed in income tax.

It means that preferential creditors already swallow up the £163,000 of available assets, still leaving them £21,000 out of pocket.

Picture: DAVID FERGUSON. (35520545)

However, there are a far higher number of ‘unsecured creditors’ – businesses and individuals further down the established hierarchy of who gets what when a company goes under.

These include a £2m overdraft which Camerons had; £1.7m of retained money that was held back from subcontractors;

another £1.7m of ‘accruals’ – which is money owed in one accounting period but due in another – and £1.4m owed to unsecured ‘employees’.

In total, when it comes to overall proceeds that the company estimates it can pay versus the money owed to creditors, there is a £7.635m deficit.

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