James Bennett and David Standish from KPMG have been appointed joint liquidators of BAH Restructuring Limited, HAB Land Limited and HAB Land Finance plc.
HAB Land Limited was founded in 2014 to acquire development land for building projects at sites in Oxford and Winchester. HAB Land Finance plc was subsequently incorporated as a wholly owned subsidiary of the company in 2016, in order to raise finance to fund the real estate activities of HAB Land through Mini Bond Instruments.
In March 2019, following a period of “difficult trading”, the directors of HAB Land undertook a comprehensive review which led to the conclusion that they may not be in a position to repay the full amounts advanced from HAB Land Finance.
As a result the directors wrote to the bondholders of HAB Land Finance setting out the position and putting forward proposals in order to repay them. These plans were rejected by the bondholders.
A meeting of the company’s board of directors subsequently took place on 25 September 2019 where it was resolved that the company was insolvent and should be wound up voluntarily. This was followed by a meeting of the company’s creditors on 15 October 2019 at which a vote was passed to place the company into Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation.
Bennett, said: “The directors have reported that higher than anticipated design and project management costs, coupled with delays to the delivery of the sites, resulted in the companies experiencing significant liquidity issues. After being unable to raise further finance or renegotiate existing liabilities, the directors took the difficult decision to instigate liquidation proceedings.
“This has resulted in a considerable loss to mini bond holders who largely financed the project. An important element of the liquidators’ role, as usual, will be to review the events leading up to the failure of the companies.”
Current building projects in Oxford and Winchester are controlled by two subsidiary companies, HAB at Lovedon Fields Limited and HAB at The Acre Limited, neither of which are part of the proposed liquidation.
KPMG said the directors of these entities continue to explore options to enable these developments to be completed. HAB Housing Limited is also unaffected by the liquidation proceedings.