The company which hit the headlines for plans to build £175,000 Spyker supercars in the West Midlands collapsed owing more than £18 million, it has emerged.
An administrators’ report into CPP (Manufacturing) – which last year revealed plans to build Spyker supercars in Coventry, before failing to finalise the deal – shows £14.2 million was owed to 225 unsecured creditors when it collapsed.
The report reveals the company spent more than £6 million on Italian car design house Zagato – which last week revealed a new V12 car in partnership with Aston Martin – and owed more than £1.1 million to HM Revenue and Customs.
The Birmingham Post revealed in January that a deal had been agreed to sell the firm, previously owned by Brendan O’Toole and Vladimir Antonov’s Conversgroup Holding (UK), to a new firm called CPP Envisage, saving more than 100 jobs.
The report reveals that deal, concluded on January 10 by joint administrators Andrew Andronikou and John Whitfield of UHY Hacker Young, was worth £350,000, and included goodwill and machinery but not the Zagato licence or Spyker assets.
The report reveals administrators were called in because there were insufficient funds to finance overheads. It states: “In particular, it was uncertain whether the company’s customers would continue to trade and provide the necessary cash flow support during the administration period.
"The directors had liaised with certain of its customer base who had expressed concerns over the future of the business. Following such discussions, certain customers refused to pay their debts until such time there was certainty of the business trading forward.”
The report reveals CPP, which specialises in body panels and prototype cars, also owes almost £2 million to leasing firm LKB Lizings and £1.86 million is outstanding to Banco Trasatlantico.
CPP had become the darling of Midland manufacturing last year when it revealed plans to create jobs by making Spykers in Coventry rather than Holland.
That deal never materialised – and Spkyer owner Swedish Automobile recently revealed that supercar production would not be transferred – and after collapsing into administration CPP (Manufacturing) was sold to the Envisage Group – based in Coventry.
The report reveals four offers – for between £2 million and £255,000 – were received before the £350,000 Envisage CPP deal was agreed.
The deal included the domain name, goodwill and leasehold property but not the book debts, investment in CPP Milan, Zagato licence or any assets relating to Spyker.
It states: “The consideration paid is, in effect, higher than the agent’s valuation... In particular, much of the plant and machinery was subject to finance with Close Asset Finance and in addition there is £1.9 million outstanding to LKB in respect of various items of plant and machinery.
"Further, the offer excluded the book debts/inter-company accounts and shareholding in Milan which the joint administrators will seek to realise.”
Meanwhile, investigations will take place into the conduct of directors at the firm, which failed to agree a payment plan for PAYE and VAT arrears worth £480,000, and submitted to the Department for Business Innovation and Skills.
Conversgroup Holding (UK) – which had a 50 per cent stake in CPP (Manufacturing) – was headed up by Vladimir Antonov, former chairman of Portsmouth FC, until he was terminated as a director on March 5, on the same day that Alexander Antonov was appointed as a director.
CPP (Manufacturing) co-owner Brendan O’Toole is also a former director of Conversgroup Holding (UK), which is headquartered in London.
The report also reveals the company’s Italian arm, CPP Milan, was facing a loss on an investment in Zagato – an automotive design consultancy in Milan.
The firm worked with Aston Martin to launch the V12 Zagato road version at the Geneva Motor Show.
The report states: “The company had invested £6 million in (CPP) Milan and provided Milan with a further £1.7 million of working capital. It became apparent during the end of 2011 however that this investment was unlikely to generate a net return.
"A Russian bank, Investbank, provided the company with funding to make the initial £6 million. Investbank received a pledge of the Milan shares as security.”
It added: “Following a review of the company’s financial position, the company’s accountants TGTP Accountants prepared an assets and liabilities schedule which showed a balance sheet with a deficit of £5 million.
"This schedule included the investment in Milan as an asset with a book value of £6 million, which in practice would have no realisable value.”
Bryan Campbell, of the Envisage Group, said: “Our intention is to continue the work and craftsmanship that CPP offered and what was in our purchase directly reflects that. We believe there is a very good core business which will now thrive under the Envisage banner and will perfectly complement the other companies in our group.
"We had no interest in the wider activities of the CPP group.”
A creditor’s meeting is being held on March 19 at 2pm at The Holiday Inn Coventry South, London Road, Coventry.