Boss of failed Muirfield under fire over creditor records

Aaron Morby 9 years ago
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The boss of failed Scottish builder Muirfield Contracts has come under fire from administrators for failing to provide the full picture of the company’s finances.

In the administrator’s report ahead of a creditors meeting this month, insolvency specialist Campbell Dallas said it had to go to significant effort to asses the financial and trading position of the Dundee-based contractor in the absence of directors and senior managers.

Joint administrator Derek Forsyth also warns creditors that director Thomas Stodart’s statement of affairs for Muirfield were materially different to company records.

Administrators also reveal they have launched legal action against three companies, which together are estimated to owe Muirfield over £12m.

One company Torridon bought development land just before Muirfield went into administration. It owes £1.2m to Muirfield from the transaction but itself fell into administration at the start of the month.

According to the administrator’s report another firm Enso 395, which owes £10.7m, and Vasanat, owing £443,000, are subject to court proceedings.

The company, which was founded by Maurice McKay, saw turnover peak at £48m with a workforce of around 400, including labour-only subcontractors.

In May, 2013 McKay sold the firm to ENSO 395, which appointed Stodart as joint chairman.

In his report, Stodart blamed loss-making contracts, and the firm’s inability to secure insurance-backed performance bonds for tying up £1.3m in operating cash as collateral. He also claims the firm had overstated profits in previous years.

The report said it was too early to draw any conclusions as investigations into the company’s affairs and events leading to its insolvency were ongoing.

Over 280 staff have been advised to submit claims for wages, holiday pay to the Redundancy Payments Office.

According to Stodart’s report subcontractors are owed £2.6m, a further £2.4m is owed in goods and services. £640,000 due to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs for PAYE and National Insurance, and £181,000 to HMRC for corporation tax.

Prospects of recovering cash for unsecured creditors depend on the outcome of the legal action under way.

A creditors meeting will be held at the Apex City Quay Hotel in Dundee on the 21 May.

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