Latimer Trend shortfall revealed

Jo Francis
Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Latimer Trend & Company owed unsecured creditors more than £3m at the time of its administration, and the firm has an estimated total shortfall in excess of £4.5m.

Latimer Trend: unsecured creditors will only receive a fraction of amounts owed
Latimer Trend: unsecured creditors will only receive a fraction of amounts owed

The 130-year-old Plymouth printing company went into administration last year after plans for a CVA were rejected by creditors.

Administrators Sandra Mundy and Thomas Russell of James Cowper Kreston were appointed by Latimer Trend’s directors on 17 October 2019.

The administrators’ report states that secured creditors included Close Brothers Asset Finance and RBS Invoice Finance.

RBS will receive payment in full from the book debts, after existing orders for two major publishing customers were completed during the administration moratorium.

Close Brothers, which is owed just over £3m according to the report, is likely to suffer a “significant shortfall under their finance agreement” but also holds a £187,000 security over the freehold property “and is likely to need the benefit of the security”.

The freehold property is valued at approximately £350,000.

A deed of priority between the charge holders means that the private debenture holders dating back to the MBO at the business in 2011 – the estate of Roger Harris, Robert Mills, Ian Gelsthorpe and Ian Crocker – and who held a fixed charge over the freehold property, will be owed around £702,000.

Finance director Crocker was also due £280,000 under a third ranking charge “and is not likely to recover any funds”.

The business was also owed £3.7m by parent company Latimer Trend Holdings, which has been deemed “irrecoverable”.

Unsecured creditors, owed £3.05m, will only receive any payment via the so-called ‘prescribed part’, which is just £76,000.

According to the report, major trade creditors included paper suppliers Antalis and Denmaur Paper Media and equipment supplier Screen – although Printweek understands Screen had repossessed its Truepress Jet520HD inkjet press before it was even commissioned, after Latimer Trend was unable to meet the payment schedule.

Some claims may also be subject to retention of title.

HMRC was owed £230,000 and employee claims were £561,000. The administrators also stated that contributions to the company’s pension scheme were outstanding, and it has submitted a claim to the Redundancy Payments Service.

The £10m turnover book and journal printer had employed 83 staff.

Apart from the rescue attempt mounted by Bell & Bain chairman Stephen Docherty, the administrators said there had been no further offers for the business.

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