Report reveals devastation of grain trade failure

Farmers make up more than one-third of the 166 unsecured creditors owed more than £6m by failed grain merchant Alexander Inglis & Son (AIS).

Hauliers, merchants, general suppliers and government bodies such as HMRC account for the remainder of unsecured creditors listed in the administrators’ report, published on Wednesday 7 July.

Among the farmer creditors, there are 23 businesses owed more than £50,000, and their claims alone total £2.924m. Several are owed more than £100,000 and some more than £200,000.

The administrators of this particularly complex failure say they expect some funds to be available under a legal provision known as the “prescribed part”, which allows a carve-out of a small portion of funds due to certain secured creditors to be paid to unsecured claimants. However, past grain trade failures point to this being just a few pence in the pound after a long wait.

Aside from the millions owed to unsecured creditors, once factors such as outstanding claims over huge grain stock shortfalls are also factored in, the administrators anticipate the deficit could be £70m.

Macquarie Bank, the main lender to AIS, is expected to make a partial recovery of its exposure to the group.Among the notable non-farmer unsecured creditors is fertiliser manufacturer Yara, which is owed £825,000.

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