The collapse of Shearings parent company Specialist Leisure Group has left a £405 million hole for creditors, administrators have revealed.
SLG entered administration in May and in an interim report, administrators Ernst & Young said: “It is estimated that non-preferential (creditor) claims will be in the region of £405 million.”
The report said 942 claims had been received by 31 December, totalling £26 million. “All the claims submitted to date are from trade creditors. It is not envisaged there will be any funds available for a distribution.”
Former staff, who hold preferential creditor claims, “in the region of £653,000” relating to salaries and other payments, will also lose out. The administrators said they “do not currently anticipate” any payments to former employees.
SLG employed around 2,500 staff and its brands included Wallace Arnold plus UK Breakaways and National Holidays. It collapsed with 64,000 bookings, mainly coach travel, but with a small number of flight-inclusive bookings.
All the group’s 240 coaches were leased, but administrators recovered £12 million from the sale of two coach interchanges in Normanton and Stretton.
Other sales have yielded much smaller amounts.
The Shearings brand, data, bookings and other assets were bought by Leger Travel’s parent company Sunway Travel in June for £502,000.
This was followed in July by the sale of the National Holidays brand and assets to Just Go Holidays for £760,000. Just Go paid an initial £425,000 and must deliver the balance on 1 April.
Also in July, SCN Holidays paid £100,000 for Caledonian Travel, including the Wallace Arnold and UK Breakaways brands and assets.
In the same month, the landlord for 40 of the group’s leased hotels, Propco, bought the Bay Hotels and Coast & Country Hotels brands for £38,500.
When it collapsed, Shearings Holidays had pre-sold flights totalling £328,000. Travel agent debts from pipeline monies total £854,000, of which £130,000 is payable to the Air Travel Trust.
The administrators said they were not optimistic of full recovery of pipeline monies as many agents had refunded customers direct. They added: “In general, the group’s financial records were not up to date.”