Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/08/08/hsbc_facing_19m_loss/

HSBC facing '£19m' loss on Granville collapse

Gloomy prospects for unsecured creditors

By Lucy Sherriff

Posted in Financial News, 8th August 2005 13:27 GMT

HSBC, Granville Technology Group's main banker, is unlikely to recover any of the £19m it is owed by the group, according to reports.

Granville, the company behind the Time and Tiny computer brands, collapsed at the end of July with debts estimated at over £50m.

Granville probably owes around £30m in unsecured debt to trade creditors, a spokesman for Grant Thorton confirmed today. In addition, secured debt is likely to total £20m.

The Indepedent on Sunday said yesterday that HSBC was Granville's main secured creditor.

Martin Ellis of Grant Thornton UK LLP, the joint administrator of Burnley-based Granville, told the Independent on Sunday: "There's no real prospect (of a return) for unsecured creditors".

Ellis would not comment on the position of secured creditors, and has yet to put a figure on monies owed in rent to landlords, and customer liabilities. However, he added that income generated from sales of the company's assets would not be great, given the size of the company.

Grant Thornton won't go into details about the composition of the HSBC debt, and at the time of writing HSBC had not returned our calls seeking comment on the issue.

Grant Thornton is reported to have received around 300 enquiries from parties interested in buying parts of the Granville Group business. However, dealing with these has been complicated by a dispute over ownership of the Tiny and Time brands.

"We are still dealing with stocks and leases, and dealing with brands and ownership to the extent that is resolvable," Mr Ellis told the IoS.

MPs are now demanding an inquiry into the company's slide into administration, which resulted in the loss of 1,500 jobs. ®

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