Carlauren administration update: recovery still uncertain for creditors but boat and plane sold

The administrators of Carlauren Group have released their latest regular report.

There’s little of interest to report on the realisation of Carlauren’s property assets or hotel business. Nor is there any real further news on the personal bankruptcy of Sean Murray. Murray has had a £40 million asset freezing order imposed (which does not necessarily reflect the value of any assets held by him) but the administrators remain tight-lipped on whether any recoveries are expected from that quarter.

The administrators have managed to sell a private jet, a boat and a car, raising a net amount of £120,000 after accounting for fees and a loan secured on the jet.

While Covid had nothing to do with Carlauren’s collapse, which unravelled in 2019, it has complicated the administration (and not just in the “interminable Zoom meetings” sense).

Carlauren’s jet (tastefully call-signed M-URRY; investors are unlikely to recover the cost of putting a vanity licence plate on a private plane) originally found a buyer for $420k. That fell through when Covid made it impossible to transport the plane to its new owner in Nigeria. The other bidders were mostly interested in breaking the plane up for parts. Eventually the plane was sold for £292,000 but virtually all of this was swallowed up by agents fees of £62k and a secured loan on the aircraft for £217k.

And there you have the administration of a collapsed investment scheme in a nutshell (or a fuselage).

The sale of Carlauren’s boat Adamo – a “luxury motor cruiser” – originally found a bidder for €700k, but they pulled out after an inspection. The pandemic reduced interest in the boat and it was eventually sold for £396k, although port fees and other fees came in at £296k.

It’s not exactly a good time to try to sell a hotel business either.

At least Carlauren’s collapse in 2019 spared its care home residents from living under Carlauren’s management during the Covid pandemic, given the atrocious mess they made of it in old-normal circumstances.

It remains unclear whether any returns will be paid to Carlauren’s investors. Legal costs currently stand at £956,000 and the administrators own fees’ stand at £2 million to date.

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