Boost for creditors of insolvent manufacturing company

Andy Wood, Wilson Field

Unsecured creditors owed money by a Derbyshire manufacturing company which went into liquidation are to receive a higher than expected dividend of 60p in the pound.

Over £128,000 is due to be distributed to unsecured creditors of Whatstandwell-based Derwent Castings Limited, whose claims totalled over £192,000.

The company, whose roots date back to the 1940s, had traded profitably for a number of years but in late 2013/early 2014 saw the cancellation of its largest sales contract which represented 70 per cent of its turnover.

Bosses at the company, which employed 16 staff including three directors, struggled to attract replacement business and had to drop prices. Further business was lost as a result of foreign competition.

Sheffield’s insolvency specialist Wilson Field was called in as liquidator and worked with the creditors’ committee of Derwent Castings Limited to secure the positive dividend.

Andy Wood, associate director and insolvency practitioner at Wilson Field said: “Dividends for insolvent companies are generally low, or nothing, for a variety of reasons – cost of staff redundancies, difficulty collecting outstanding invoices, selling assets in a forced sale situation, selling specialist assets which have limited appeal to purchasers, deteriorating or perishable assets, as well as other costs involved.

“However, thanks to a very positive relationship with the creditors committee, I am delighted to return a healthy dividend to the unsecured creditors in the region of 60p in the pound.

“The supply chain is often greatly affected by a liquidation and in this case we have been able to help creditors.”

Derwent Castings was incorporated in August 2002 and specialised in iron casting from the five-acre Derwent Foundry site at Whatstandwell near Matlock.

However, the iron founding operation at Derwent Foundry was first introduced back in 1946 by Wragg & Hawksley which produced cast iron pipes for the water industry.

In 1950 the foundry was acquired by WH Davis & Sons Ltd to supply castings for their railway wagon building business. Following a management buy out in 1984, the company was renamed Derwent Foundry Ltd and following its closure in July 2002, was bought by its present owners and renamed Derwent Castings Ltd.

Amongst jobs carried out on site were moulding using loose pattern and modern air setting (boxless) sand systems; metals work using the latest in electric induction melting producing a wide range of grey, SG and alloy irons; an independent Namas approved test laboratory, finishing, pattern making and machining facilities.

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