Media businessman Chris Bullivant’s long-standing attempt to break into the Birmingham newspaper world finally ended with the sale of three laptops, a report has revealed.
A report by Joint Liquidator Nigel Price, of Begbies Traynor, into the collapse of the Birmingham Press with debts of more than £347,000 showed the laptops were the last assets of the failed venture.
Mr Bullivant was at the centre of a storm when the free weekly newspaper folded last year amid a trail of unpaid debts to journalists running into thousands of pounds.
The total deficiency was £347,796, with 70 unsecured creditors.
Mr Price’s report into CJB Media Ltd said: “We have sold the majority of the office equipment to Bullivant Media Ltd for £2,500.
“The company also owned three laptops, which were in the custody of employees, and we reached an agreement with Bullivant Media Ltd that they would pay £1,000 for these when they had been returned to them.
“At present two laptops have been returned to Bullivant Media Ltd and we expect the final laptop to be returned shortly.
“Therefore a further £1,000 is anticipated to be realised in respect of the company’s office equipment. Following the sale of these laptops there are no further anticipated realisations.”
The report also revealed that unsecured creditors – including journalists – could expect a “very modest” payout.
Mr Price said: “We consider there will be sufficient funds for a dividend to be paid to unsecured creditors. The dividend will be very modest but is better than the anticipated result at the outset of the liquidation that there would be no return to creditors.”
The report also showed that preferential creditors, including HM Revenue and Customs, the Redundancy Payments Office and employee arrears and holiday pay were paid in full, to the tune of £11,498.10.
At last year’s creditors’ meeting Mr Bullivant told angry journalists: “I am truly sorry, especially for people who didn’t receive a penny. It is outrageous, but I didn’t know.
“I have nothing to hide.”