I understand that the liquidation is progressing in an orderly and efficient manner. However, efforts by the liquidator to sell all or part of the assets of the company on a going-concern basis have, unfortunately, been unsuccessful to date.
The liquidator has also advised me that, based on legal advice received, he has admitted, as unsecured creditors in the liquidation, claims from the employees of the company to have entitlements to enhanced redundancy payments. It is estimated that these claims increase the total value of unsecured creditors compared with the statement of affairs produced by the board in November last by more than €60 million, although any dividend payable to the workers concerned will be reduced by the amounts received from the ex gratia fund of €24.5 million provided by the shareholders. It is expected that these additional claims will have the effect of reducing the prospective dividend to unsecured creditors generally.
The liquidator has updated me on certain issues concerning pensions issues for the employees based in Belfast and, in particular, that he has appointed Hogg Robinson Trustees Ltd. as independent trustees of the staff retirement benefit plan covering employees in Belfast. It is understood that he was required to make such an appointment under the relevant pensions regulations applicable in Northern Ireland.
Question No. 184 answered with Question No. 182.