TCI debt downfall of Hadsphaltic

| 24/11/2010

(CNS): The demise of local construction company Hadsphaltic was down to the financial woes of its parent company Oxford Ventures Ltd, which was propping up failing businesses in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Chris Johnson, the joint liquidator for Hadsphaltic who has now been named one of the joint liquidators for Oxford, said that the real reason why the firm went into liquidation was because of the heavy loses incurred by Johnston International Limited in TCI, which owed money to Hadsphaltic, and which, in the end, brought Oxford down as well. Johnson said he and his joint liquidator will be investigating why companies within the complex web of holdings across the Caribbean were continuing to trade even while they were incurring losses which could have made them insolvent.

Johnson told CNS on Tuesday that he wanted to take a look at the conduct of the directors within the group of companies, once owned by Lord Ashcroft, and establish why money was being pushed into companies that may not have been viable at the expense of others.

“Hadsphaltic went into liquidation largely because Johnston International Limited owed it $5 million which it could not repay,’” he said, adding that while the firm was incurring massive losses the directors allowed the firm to continue trading, incurring more debt.

“In March 2006 Oxford Ventures Ltd, the parent company in the BVI, was worth $17 million; it is now worth nothing,” the Cayman based liquidator stated. “By far the largest loss in the group was the $20 million lost by JIL, which drained the top company.”

He said that it appeared the directors had felt the need to support the loss making entities at the expense of Hadsphaltic, which was penalised by the decisions those directors made.

News that the local construction company, which had been building in the Cayman islands for more than four decades, came in July this year when it was part way through the construction of the new $4.5 million MRCU hanger at the airport, only yards away from where the firm had constructed its first project some 44 years ago.

The contractor set up shop in the Cayman Islands in 1966 to work on the airport runway project. It became one of the country’s leading construction companies and built a number of schools, three of the islands’ main hotels, the port building and Cayman National on Elgin Avenue.

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