Anger at administrators' �175k bill

SENIOR administrators were paid up to �680 an hour as they sifted through the Haymills wreckage - while many small Suffolk businesses have been left hugely out of pocket.

Elliot Furniss

SENIOR administrators were paid up to �680 an hour as they sifted through the Haymills wreckage - while many small Suffolk businesses have been left hugely out of pocket.

The total fee picked up so far by PricewaterhouseCoopers for overseeing the administration and sale of Haymills, based in Stowmarket, was �175,780.50.

One Suffolk-based creditor, who asked not to be named, said he was “very angry” that PwC had the “audacity” to charge such a sum.

He said: “We're in a recession - my blokes are on a three-day-week, we've lost money and our company could go into receivership.

“As far as I am concerned this is a matter now for the Government to look into the laws of insolvency. We're not getting a penny while they have the audacity to take �175,000 for not even a month's work.”

Most Read

David Ruffley, the MP representing Stowmarket, said the figures would be very difficult for some creditors to take.

He said: “It will be a bitter pill to swallow if you're a trade creditor that might go under when higher-paid consultants get their costs covered.

“As too often in this recession, it's the workforce on the ground that is bearing the brunt.”

Stephen Oldfield, PwC partner and joint administrator for the Haymills deal, said he remained “completely comfortable” with the way it had been reached.

He said: “I remain completely comfortable with the level of charges and the amount of time myself and my team have spent on dealing with what is a large and complex East Anglian administration.

“We are working completely within industry means and what you see in Haymills is not untypical in the position that happens in many administrations, particularly those that involve a large number of people affected.”

He said it was part of the firm's “professional standards” to send out such thorough and transparent documentation to all creditors in order to clearly show what staff had spent their time on.

He added: “The level of administrators' fees would not have made any impact on the level of creditors' return on contracts. This is quite a big job with a lot of jobs involved but there are a lot of creditors involved as well (so) there's a lot to do.”