Allow me to make a new fortune, says Walker

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The Independent Online
GEORGE WALKER, the former head of leisure group Brent Walker, yesterday won a two-week reprieve from bankruptcy proceedings and vowed to make millions again if his creditors would let him.

He spoke after a vote on whether to bankrupt him was postponed to allow the validity of creditors' claims to be checked.

Mr Walker's debts have soared from about pounds 90m to pounds 150.1m in the last few months as new claims have been presented. Included among the creditors are the Inland Revenue, a group of banks including the TSB, and his former solicitors, DJ Freeman, who are owed pounds 250,000. His present solicitor, Michael Coleman of Harkavys, said that new claims were coming in as late as yesterday morning.

Mr Walker needs a 75 per cent vote in favour of his proposed Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) if he is to avoid bankruptcy.

Raymond Hocking, an insolvency partner at Stoy Hayward who has been appointed by the High Court to examine the IVA, held a straw poll of creditors yesterday. The result was too close to show which way the vote would go.

Mr Walker, who left the meeting in a Rolls-Royce, has 'certain' assets of just pounds 125,000. They consist of a one-sixth share of a Swiss apartment and 1.5 million Brent Walker shares.