PKF insolvency experts are fighting car giant Honda for unpaid fees after being dismissed as administrators for defunct Formula One racing team Super Aguri last year.
Partners from PKF are owed around £300,000 for their work as joint administrators to Super Aguri, of which Honda was the major creditor with tens of millions owing when the racing team collapsed.
Honda, which closed its own Formula One team this season, rejected the administrators’ plan to sell Super Aguri, and their fees, then appointed liquidators from BDO Stoy Hayward to sell the assets of the business. Super Aguri was officially placed into liquidation on 7 July 2008.
PKF’s joint administrators, Philip Long, Brian Hamblin and Ian Gould, have applied to the courts to protect their fees, and vigorously defended their decisions during their time in charge of the ailing business.
The administrators claim a sale was lined up for the business before Honda’s actions took Super Aguri into a creditors’ voluntary liquidation.
‘Any insolvency practitioner will say that [administration] was the only route for Super Aguri as there were buyers for it,’ said Long.
‘Honda didn’t want Super Aguri exposed to the marketplace. We are experts in the industry, I know when an administration’s an administration. Smaller unsecured creditors voted for our proposals and fees.’
Honda and its racing team Honda GP were owed around £37m out of Super Aguri’s £52m debt to unsecured creditors.
Some of Super Aguri’s assets were sold by the liquidators, William Turner and Geoffrey Kinlan of BDO Stoy Hayward, through a sale on the website of auctioneers SHM Smith Hodgkinson last year.
Driver Takuma Sato’s 2006 Grand Prix car was sold minus its engine and
Honda GP was bought in an MBO by Ross Brawn and is currently leading the Formula One driver and team standings, after the first two races, with British driver Jenson Button and Brazilian Rubens Barrichello at the wheel.
James Hyne, partner at James Russell, the solicitors representing the liquidators, said: ‘With ongoing court proceedings, we don’t wish to make any more comment at the moment.’
Although no direct relationship with F1, I am guessing the car firm, 'Car Giant', may not take too kindly to the heading.
Posted by: Gary Thompson, 09 Apr 2009 | 00:00
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