Some cash will be available to pay off Lowcosttravelgroup, liquidators have confirmed four years after its collapse.
In their latest report, filed to Companies House last month, liquidators Smith & Williamson said they had recovered £1.8 million from HMRC after winning a Toms VAT case, while another £1.08 million was received in relation to a bond held by Lowcostholidays Spain.
However, there is a long list of those owed money by Lowcostgroup, with one credit card acquirer putting in a claim for £69 million. The report said the majority of Lowcost customers “have been successful in obtaining refunds for the value of their claims via the chargeback scheme… or under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. The value of these claims is included in the claim of the credit card acquirer.”
Lowcost and its subsidiaries failed in high season, leaving 27,000 clients stranded and with more than 100,000 forward bookings. In 2013, the CAA had warned against dealing with the OTA as it had bonded in Spain to save money and did not offer Atol protection.
Smith & Williamson said: “The joint liquidators can confirm that they expect there will be a distribution to the unsecured creditors of (Lowcost) Holidays Ltd and (Lowcost) Beds.com.”
However, the report warned any payouts will take some time and may be subject to “certain tax deductions” from HMRC.
Secured creditors take priority and one of these is Lloyds Banking Group, which has submitted a claim for £564,367.
Liquidators’ fees have so far reached £1.66 million, with the final cost estimate put at £2.16 million.
Lowcostgroup founder and chief executive Paul Evans was last reported to be running a small hotel in Scotland.