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Slipform International administrators Mercer & Hole probe sale price of assets to PC Harrington Holdings

Administrators at PC Harrington Contractors subsidiary Slipform International are investigating whether its sale to another company in the group undervalued the business.

Slipform went into administration in December 2015, seven months after the demise of PC Harrington Contractors.

In November, a month before administrators from Mercer & Hole took control of Slipform, it agreed to sell its assets to PC Harrington Holdings for £450,000.

The assets, which include plant and machinery, had been independently valued in July 2015 by auctioneer GoIndustry DoveBid at £525,000 as a going concern.

Administrators said the lower sale figure was reached “by deducting the value of the company’s trade creditors from the value attributed to the assets”.

In an update on the administrators’ proposals, joint administrators Christopher Laughton and Peter John Godfrey-Evans said: “The sale was to a connected party and we consider that the plant and machinery may have been sold at an undervalue.”

They added: “We note that there may have been breaches of duty by the directors. Our investigations in this respect are ongoing.”

The directors named in the report include Patrick and Eileen Harrington.

In December, PC Harrington’s administrators KPMG said Slipform was owed £7.8m by the main contractor at the time it fell into administration.

KPMG said Slipform had “significant negative net assets… despite being a relatively profitable and well-regarded business”.

The administrators also described a complex network of deals, disputes and claims between various parts of the PC Harrington group of companies, warning creditors that these could take up to three years to resolve.

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