Creditors await outcome of extended Henry administration

Henry Construction Projects is likely to end up in voluntary liquidation but it is unclear how much money unsecured creditors may receive, a new report has said.

In a 4 July progress report, joint administrators David Hudson and Geoffrey Rowley from FRP Advisory said they expected the collapsed contractor to “exit administration by CVL [creditors’ voluntary liquidation]”.

The administrators said in their latest report that “there may be sufficient funds available” to pay more than 5,000 potential unsecured creditors.

“This distribution will be paid by a subsequently appointed liquidator. The costs of the liquidation cannot at this stage be estimated and neither can the final level of realisations to be achieved.

“Therefore it is currently not possible to estimate the level of distribution that may be made.”

Henry called in FRP on 8 June 2023 and all 54 employees were made redundant. The contractor owed £43m to suppliers when it collapsed but only held £290,000 in cash.

In May this year, FRP extended the period of administration until 7 June 2025, citing the need to conclude “numerous ongoing and lengthy workstreams”.

There is one outstanding charge from a secured creditor (United Trust Bank Ltd). “Enquiries are ongoing to allow for the charge to be satisfied by mutual agreement,” Hudson and Rowley said in the new report.

About £90,000 is owed to preferential creditors in employees’ pay arrears, unpaid pension contributions and holiday, they added.

The administrators expect these creditors to be paid in full, but this will be delayed pending the outcome of a protective award claim brought by “a number of the former employees”.

HMRC has a potential claim against Henry as a secondary preferential creditor for about £1m, but “this position remains under review”, Hudson and Rowley said in their progress report.

London-headquartered Henry was ranked 41st in the 2022 CN100 list of the UK’s biggest contractors with revenue of £402.2m and pre-tax profit of £14m in its most recent published accounts, covering the year to 30 June 2021.

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