Ocon creditors facing £4.3m shortfall

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OCON Construction was owed £8.5m by its Manchester-based parent company when it filed for administration last month.

In a newly-filed statement of affairs administrators from the accountancy firm Mazars say the chances of recovering this from student accommodation specialist Opal – which is also in administration – are “uncertain”.

The figure, which is far larger than Ocon’s total debts of £5.9m, has not been included in a calculation of the assets available to creditors.

Joint administrators Tim Askham and Robert Adamson previously said Ocon had suffered trading losses and needed extra cash, but Opal could not support it. At the time Opal was struggling to refinance £886m of debt with a syndicate of 14 lenders.

According to the statement of affairs £1.5m is available to unsecured creditors, leaving a shortfall of £4.3m. Some individual creditors will take a big hit, including Liverpool engineering services firm HE Simm, owed £350,000; Salford-based Demolition Network which is owed £207,000; Stockport cladding contractor Churchmore, owed £62,000; and Manchester ceilings and walls specialist Bluegyp, which is owed £50,000.

One of Ocon’s biggest projects was the £50m, 1,259-bed Crown Place project for Liverpool University, pictured. This has been transferred to the university, along with Ocon staff.

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