A&G Price owed $5.2 mln as cash flow woes sink engineering firm
By Sophie Boot
Aug. 4 (BusinessDesk) - A&G Price, the Thames engineering company which went into liquidation last week, owed $5.2 million to its creditors, the liquidator's first report says.
The company had been operating in Thames for nearly 150 years, but recently suffered a downturn in business and profitability "resulting in it experiencing cash flow difficulties for some months prior to the appointment of the liquidators," liquidators Gareth Hoole and Clive Bish of Ecovis KGA said in their report.
"The company operated under those cash flow constraints with the support of its shareholder but ultimately that situation became unsustainable and the decision was taken to place the company into liquidation," the report said. The liquidators said they weren't able to comment on the company's solvency at the date they were appointed, but would investigate, and "pursue appropriate action against the director to the extent considered economically beneficial if evidence exists to support such action."
A&G Price had $1,506 in cash and was owed $1.7 million by debtors as at July 26, it said. The company had $5.1 million in total liabilities, including $2.5 million to secured creditor Real Property, and $1.4 million each to preferential and unsecured creditors.
The liquidators didn't disclose the value of work in progress, intangibles or fixed assets as they said that could impact negotiations with potential purchasers. A large amount of the preferential debt is related to employees' redundancy entitlements, and the liquidators are seeking legal opinions on how they should be classified, so that figure is subject to amendment, they said.
The report says the liquidators have decided not to hold a meeting of creditors, and have met with union representatives and the priority secured creditor about the likely outcome for secured and preferential creditors.
The liquidators gave a "tentative estimate" of the liquidation being completed within six months.