B&C creditors may get a further pounds 150m from sales

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The Independent Online
CREDITORS of British & Commonwealth, the financial services conglomerate that collapsed in 1990, may receive a further pounds 150m from the sale of assets in the group.

British & Commonwealth administrators, the accountants Ernst & Young and Buchler Phillips, plan to dispose of the group's remaining 40 per cent stake in Exco, the money broking group; a 20 per cent stake in Celltech, the biotechnology group; and around pounds 20m to pounds 30m worth of property.

If the outcome of several outstanding legal actions is successful, creditors may receive more than pounds 350m, with some estimates ranging up to pounds 450m. Total payments to creditors to date have amounted to 15p in the pound, including a fourth dividend of 2p paid out last November.

B&C creditors have been told that they can expect at least 21p in the pound, while creditors of the finance arm will receive 50p. B&C creditors could receive 50p or more in the pound if the series of legal actions proves successful and the asset disposals go through, while creditors on the finance side may receive 80-90p.

At the end of November creditors were told that investigations by the joint administrators were nearly complete. A Department of Trade and Industry report into Atlantic Computers, the leasing company acquired by B&C, to be published later this year, will determine the future course of legal action.