James Tickell and Carl Faulds, the administrators of George H. Austin (Builders) Limited have taken steps to convert the administration which commenced on 13th April 2015, to a creditors’ voluntary liquidation. This took effect on 4th November 20145 and the company is now in liquidation. We are providing creditors with an update on the progress of the winding up;
The company had traded as a commercial building contractor since 1972 and latterly began carrying out large housing projects for local authorities and housing associations. In late 2014 the company began suffering cash flow difficulties as a result of losses on contracts. In March 2015, the company’s largest contract had reached unit completion but significant payments were not forthcoming. As a result, the company could not meet its obligations to its sub-contractors or HM Revenue & Customs. The director sought independent advice from Portland and having considered the options available, the director decided to take steps to appoint administrators in order to protect the company’s assets whilst securing the best outcome for creditors.
To date recoveries in respect of the debtors and retentions have been fairly minimal. Several of the contracts had not been finalised whilst others were still within their defects liability period. Our quantity surveyors have continued to monitor the contracts and liaise with the debtors concerned and have not received any information that suggests the original estimates cannot be achieved.
We have been successful securing the cash at bank and also in achieving a sale of the fleet of motor vehicles, including several subject to finance agreements, together with the chattel assets. Recoveries have been in line with our expectations.
In addition we have received various refunds relating to the period up to the date of administration together with funds due from a former employee and bank interest.
The remaining assets, being the outstanding debts and retentions together with a tractor located on a third party site, will be dealt with in the liquidation.
During the administration we have assisted the employees in submitting claims to the Redundancy Payments office to receive their guaranteed entitlements. We have also liaised with the employees directly to agree their residual claims for amounts in excess of the statutory limits. In addition we have dealt with retention of title claims, a finance company in relation to the return and sale of its equipment and liaised with the landlord to surrender the lease.
We have discharged the claims of the preferential creditors in full and anticipate paying a dividend to the unsecured creditors in due course.
Please refer to the six monthly and notice of conversion report for further details, which can be accessed here