ADMINISTRATORS of the parent company running Aberystwyth Marina and Port Dinorwic in Gwynedd are trying to recover about £8 million owed to it by another of the companies run by Swiss-domiciled sole director Christopher Odling-Smee.
Joint administrators Damian Webb and Christopher Lewis said Mr Odling-Smee’s Marine and Property Group (MPG) was owed the money by another of his firms, Bayscape Ltd, which had been wound up on a petition by HM Revenue and Customs.
Mr Webb said further investigations were being made in relation to the potential recovery of funds for MPG, which wholly owned Aberystwyth Marina Limited and went into administration in April with debts of about £16 million and assets of £2 million.
He said the administrators had discovered about £1.6 million had been transferred out of MPG to Bayscape before they were appointed.
Bayscape comprises a complex set of seven inter-linked companies, four of which were in administration, receivership or liquidation and another with a striking-off order suspended.
Mr Webb said: “Many of the companies in the Bayscape Group have been placed into formal insolvency procedures.
“Therefore it is uncertain whether any of this debt will be able to be recovered.”
Mr Webb said Christie and Co and Sanderson Weatherall had been appointed to oversee a sale of MPG to recover as much money as possible for creditors but the process had now been paused until the summer of 2024.
MPG also owns two other marinas in Wales and one in Somerset, each of which has individually been put into administration.
Mr Webb said a priority issue for the administrators had been non-payment of staff of the various marinas and the risk that they would leave, so more than £260,000 in arrears of wages had been paid.
He said Mr Odling-Smee had provided £20,000 to support the trading of MPG in administration.
Mr Webb said MPG owned 100 per cent shareholdings of the five marinas, and four other companies, but insolvency had reduced the value of all of the shares to nil.
He said it was expected that the administration would need to be renewed next April for another 12 months to allow the MPG group companies to continue trading to increase their aggregate value.
An administrator’s report into the financial health of the company, seen by the Cambrian News, shows “historic arrears” to HMRC of £1.8m and creditors owed £13.842m.
The losses which led to administration could now lead to the group as a whole – including Aberystwyth marina – to be sold.
The report says: “The group has historically traded well, however the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on marina occupancy and inflation in 2022 meant that trading performance declined significantly.
“The group has experienced cashflow difficulties with the build-up of significant arrears.”