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Hope for Controlled creditors

NEWS - Christmas cheer anticipated for nine in 10 companies owed money after Controlled Demolition collapse last month

CONTROLLED Demolition boss Darren Palin is hoping to pay off 90 per cent of the former company's debts by Christmas.

Controlled Demolition Group brief ly fell into administration last month when financial backer 3i withdrew support.

Within hours it had been sold out of administration to the boss of Yorkshire firm Linkway Manufacturing, Richard Burt.

Mr Burt has set aside a £2 million cash fund to pay subcontractors and suppliers left in the lurch by Controlled's demise and has already agreed payment schedules with a number of creditors.

Mr Palin said: 'There won't be any picking or choosing and payment schedules have been arranged. A lot of the subbies have worked with us for 10 years.' Mr Burt came to Controlled's rescue with a £1.93 million cash offer for its name and assets along with all international intellectual property and trademarks.

Effectively the business is unchanged with the same management team, offices and 140 employees.

Now Controlled is planning to look at the structure of its business and consolidate its operations.

Mr Palin said: 'We want the company to be profitable so we will be looking at cash-positive contracts and go for quality, not quantity. We will be aiming to get more negotiated work with better margins and less risk.'

Mr Palin plans to build on the company's explosives operations and tap into work coming out of the nuclear industry.

Controlled has abandoned plans to grow into a £30 million-turnover operation, which was the business plan agreed with 3i.

Mr Palin said: 'The company will eventually be smaller. The deal with 3i was completely out of tune with the demolition industry and it didn't matter how good we were.' When Controlled went into administration it automatically lost its membership of the National Federation of Demolition Contractors. It will have to reapply for membership once it has been trading for two more years.

Federat ion president David Clarke said: 'Under the rules of the NFDC, a company's membership is terminated when it goes into administration.

'Any company that bears the same or similar name to Controlled Demolition is also not a member of the Federation.'