Waverley creditors owed £76m

WaverleyTBS administrator Deloitte has revealed that the collapsed UK drinks wholesaler owes more than £12 million to secured creditors, with over £64m due to unsecured creditors, including around 200 trade suppliers.

In total, over £40m of this unsecured creditor balance is owed to the trade, while more than £10m is due to HMRC.

Among the biggest drinks trade creditors are: AB Inbev UK – 2.893.372; Accolade Wines – 618,220; Bacardi Brown Forman – £2,750,161; Cellar Trends – £717,700; Diageo Great Britain – £6,099,075; FE Barber, the parent company of Kingsland Wines & Spirits – £1,519,212; First Drinks – £626,549; Heineken UK – £2,845,883; Laurent-Perrier UK – £248,948; Maxxium UK – £414,552; and Moët Hennessy – £603,806. A number of other UK wine and spirits suppliers are owed five figure sums.

To date, Deloitte reported that it had received 143 ROT (Retention of Title) claims, with the administrator prioritising the return of short shelf life stock. With this process nearly completed, the focus is now shifting to the return of longer dated stock, which is expected to take “a number of weeks”.

So far £15m, has been recovered from Waverley’s debtors from a total of £26.5m. Much of the shortfall comes from customers who are also creditors and is therefore unlikely to be recovered.

Among Waverley’s assets, the most significant are its Gateshead site, which has been valued at £1.7m and is now on the market, as well as whatever remains after ROT claims from the £13m-worth of stock inherited by Deloitte.

Deloitte itself has yet to deduct its own administration fees, with time costs alone to 31 October adding up to £1,583,397.

Detailing the extent of Waverley’s problems, Deloitte reported that despite a £10.8 million restructure in 2010, Waverley built up losses of £2.5 million in the eight months to August 2012. The administrator cited “reducing discretionary spending in the UK leisure market” as the main reason for the company’s collapse.

At the time it was put into administration on 2 October, Waverley employed 839 staff across its sites. These included bonded warehouses in Gateshead and Hemel Hempstead, sites in Avonmouth, Haydock and Glasgow, 14 transit point locations around the UK, an office in Wincanton as well as the company’s head office in Chesterfield.

While two businesses expressed an initial interest in acquiring the entire company, both withdrew within a week, citing “a potential TUPE [employee protection regulations] liability and the expense and difficulty of integration of IT systems.”

With no further offers, the company ceased trading on 8 October, with just 97 employees retained to assist with the wind down. On 5 November this was reduced to 49 employees.

There will be a meeting for all Waverley creditors on 27 November at 11am in the Doubletree by Hilton Sheffield Park, Sheffield.

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