James Tickell and Carl Faulds both of Portland Business Recovery based in Fareham, Hampshire were appointed as joint administrators of the company on 13th October 2010. Following the completion of the administration, the company converted to being in liquidation on 24th January 2011, with James Tickell being appointed joint liquidator together with Stephen Grant.
The business of Ralls Builders Limited was that of a building contractor, operating largely in the public and social sector, undertaking building projects for local authorities, educational establishments, other public bodies and social landlords. The company, as with many in the construction sector, was impacted by the onset of recession from 2008 onwards. The company was also specifically affected by adverse weather conditions early in 2010 preventing it completing its contractual obligations on time; customers delaying the commencement of committed works for considerable periods for budgetary reasons; and a rejection by a customer on quality grounds of a significant amount of work carried out by a subcontractor.
When trading ceased the company had a significant debtor book of contract debts. As administrators we worked with specialist quantity surveyors to collect these debts, which were subject to some disputes and retention periods. As many of the debts were within the defects period the debtor collection was protracted. Despite the issues that were faced we were able to successfully collect £480k from the debtors during the administration and a further £171k during the liquidation. Plant, fixtures, fittings and motor vehicles were also sold during the administration for £33k.
As an administrator does not have the power to distribute funds to unsecured creditors, the company was quickly moved to liquidation and a first dividend of 8% was paid on the agreed claims. The liquidators are also able to bring claims against the directors in respect of antecedent transactions, in particular wrongful trading. The liquidators are continuing their actions in that regard. The timing and quantum of any further dividend will be dependent upon the recoveries made from this action.
Creditors are able to access a copy of the annual report here, which provides further information in relation to the winding up of the company.