THE turnaround specialist which failed to revive the fortunes of a Fife shopfitting company lost nearly £6 million when the business collapsed in August, it has emerged.

More than 250 people, representing the bulk of the workforce, were made redundant when Havelock International fell into administration after succumbing to challenging trading conditions.

The failure came just a year after the business, which specialised in fitting out shops and offices, was relaunched by private equity turnaround specialist Rcapital, saving 300 jobs. That came after its previous entity, the stock market-listed Havelock Europa, had fallen into administration.

A report filed by directors at Companies House this week shows that Havelock International had debts totalling £8.3 million at the time administrators at PwC were appointed on August 1.

While the assets held by Havelock International are valued at more than £9m, the directors said they expect to raise just £759,000 from the assets. Of that figure, employees and former employees are owed £250,000 and rank as preferential creditors.

The report shows £5.97m of debt was owed to a loan company called Deasil, in the form of a debenture. Deasil is part of the Rcapital group, and the two companies share the same London address, as well as having two directors in common.

The sums owned to Deasil form part of the £6.22m of debt secured by floating charges outlined by the statement of affairs. The report signals the vast bulk of this amount will not be recovered.

And the report indicates no return for the company’s 165 unsecured trade creditors, which were owed £1.8m at the time Havelock International went into administration. The debts included £187,263.30 to Cumbernauld-based Allstar Joinery, £85,000 to Ecotricity, £79,865.01 to Steder Group of Hillington Park in Glasgow, £75,028.18 to Eversheds Sutherland International, £51,977.09 to RMD Shopfitting of Dunfermline, £43,708 to Fife Council, £33,833.59 to Active Energy Solutions, also of Hillington Park, and £32,000 to Orsted Sales UK.

PwC said yesterday it was unable to comment on the report, and is working to compile its own statement of affairs. It is believed the administrators will provide an update in the coming weeks.

A spokesperson for administrators at PwC said: “We continue to work on a strategy to realise the assets and we will provide further comment in due course.”

The directors’ report comes shortly after The Herald revealed, in the aftermath of Havelock International’s collapse, that the firm had not yet paid hundreds of thousands of pounds to purchase the head office it agreed to buy when it rescued the business the year before.

Rcapital agreed to buy the Havelock Europa business and the majority of its assets from administrators PwC on July 3 last year. However it emerged that Havelock International had still to reach agreement on the purchase of the company’s head office at Mitchelston Drive in Kirkcaldy – part of the original sale and purchase agreement – by the time it went administration in August.

Rcapital had initially agreed to acquire the freehold of the property for £800,000. But according to the latest administrators’ report for Havelock Europa, the sale deal had not been completed by the time the update for the six months to July 2 was filed. That was despite a reduced price being agreed between the two parties.

Trade Union GMB Scotland reacted angrily to the job losses at Havelock International when workers were informed last month, and accused the firm of failing to engage with staff before the redundancies were announced. Organiser Alison Cairns said at the time that “owners and management favoured secrecy allowing cash-flow problems to escalate to the point that they could no longer pay wages, for work already done.”