|David obviously won the battle unscathed!|
|I assume this has conveniently disappeared off everyones radar!|
|oh no horror movies will always de-stabilise the mind|
|I have seen him rear his head this morning on the news with Cameron.|
|Oh when did that happen ?|
|The rich reap the rewards at the expense of the poor.|
|Re: Will PwC sue KPMG? A n other
The more I think about it the more I'm beginning to believe that the Pensions deficit is the smoking gun.
Could it be that Ross didn't want to release the accounts because he would have had to declare the escalating pensions deficit?
We know PwC have been advising Cosalt since late 2010 and KPMG have been the auditors throughout.
With a declared pensions deficit of £9M Cosalt, under PwC's nose, sold Marine for £31 million incurring costs of £4M and using all the rest to pay off the banks, at the same time brokering a deal that would see the banks, Ross and Sovereign loan another £11.4M in such a way that if worst came to worst they would be ok and the pension scheme & shareholders would be the ones to lose.
Not only that but they built in a pension payment holiday for the company that, barring a swift economic recovery, was always going to see the pensions deficit rising.
I don't think they expected it to become unmanageable while Cosalt was still a plc. The plan was to take it private, sell off the businesses, probably try to find some mug to buy the pension scheme, all away from prying eyes.
KPMG could have scuppered the deal as auditors by resigning when Cosalt wouldn't file accounts - no excuse, they just had to order Cosalt to file accounts prepared with the company not expected to be a going concern and value assets accordingly instead of just refusing to sign off going concern accounts.
So will PwC sue KPMG - no, because they are all in it together. PwC were instrumental in brokering the deal that got us here, KPMG let it happen. Independent administrators might see it my way, PwC LLP administrators I doubt will.|
|The Leaders Club is a Conservative Party fund raising unit for Donors of over £50k p.a. It gives access to the PM and other Ministers
From The Eye
Another generous guest at the Leaders Club do was Cameron's old chum David Ross, the co-founder of Carphone Warehouse, who might soon need as many well-connected friends as he can find.
The Eye has learnt that Ross's conduct at the helm of Cosalt plc, a Humberside group that he chaired and that went bust earlier this year in highly controversial circumstances, is being assessed by his professional body, the Institute of Chartered Accountants (Ross is a chartered accountant by training). After a series of irregularities (see Eye 1342), Ross tried to take Cosalt private, failed and then put it into administration under accountants PwC, with whom he had a significant prior relationship and who are themselves under investigation over the affair.
Among the complaints against Ross are that as a creditor to the business when it got into trouble he got the bulk of his money back (£7.4M out of £11.2M) when others did not (especially the pension fund, the deficit of which ballooned to £50M); that he continued to run the business while bidding for it; and that he failed to produce accounts as required by law at a time when shareholders were crying out for some idea of Cosalt's financial position.
Meanwhile Vince Cable's (and Michael Fallon's) business department is reconsidering an earlier decision not to prosecute over the accounts failure (having already admitted there was sufficient evidence to do so). Small wonder Ross is anxious to keep an expensive seat at the top table.|
|An interesting viewpoint from the finance director Paul Below
This 140 year old, premium listed, Group had sold its profitable operations to reduce debt, having suffered a significant alleged fraud. It was loss making, had high residual indebtedness, a substantial defined benefit pension scheme deficit and other significant legacy issues.
The Company was reliant on its non-executive Chairman, who had acquired a majority shareholding and provided funding facilities which were fully utilised.
In relation to the alleged fraud, the Group was both engaged in litigation and under attack. A proposal to take the company private had been voted down and the Company was subject to anonymous vitriol on a daily basis.
The operating divisions comprised the leading provider of safety critical lifting equipment to almost all major operators in the North Sea and a leading supplier of protective clothing and other front line firefighting equipment. However, these divisions were unsaleable and/or of uncertain value.
The CEO was the sole executive director and the Company Secretary the only other plc employee. I joined as interim CFO to assist the Company through this difficult period, initially for 6 months.
Created and demonstrated value in operating divisions.
Disposed of operating divisions (as share sales), preserving value for key stakeholders, employees, customers and suppliers.
Maintained multiple stakeholder support in hostile litigation environment, through legal settlement and business disposals.
Managed complex stakeholder and regulatory issues - including banks, other lenders, pension trustees, regulator and PPF, FSA and exemptions, Class transaction documents and RNS announcements.
Presentations, forecasting and cash and working capital management.
Pants on fire!|
|Ok, thank you, the team is doing a very good job, keep this rolling
for another 18mths and cameron and cable will be very worried leading
into the next election as questions can be raised at awkward times.
Pm's saying the wrong thing can be disasterous, remember gordon
brown with the lady on the street, then boom on jeremy vine and curtains.
|Active, it's not me, others are in touch with the Eye, I am just copying the articles here to keep everyone updated.|
|good work ravenna, surely this can be taken to the small
claims court could it not. Also the cosalt chairman
donated £2m to vince's charity.|
Cosalt in the wound
EVIDENCE seen by the Eye of goings-on at Cosalt plc under its chairman,Carphone Warehouse founder and Tory supporter David Ross, whoin February bought the group's main assets from administrators (Eye 1338), poses serious questions for the billionaire whose foundation runs 13 academy schools.
Minority shareholders, some of whom have lost small fortunes in the company, have presented administrators from PricewaterhouseCoopers with a raft of allegations against the company of which Ross has been majority shareholder and chairman since 2005 (with a short interval when he resigned in 2008 after failing to decalre using his Carphone Warehouse shares as security for a personal loan, only to be reappointed months later).
Among the more serious ones is that Cosalt Offshore UK, an Aberdeen-based lifting and tooling equipment business acquired in 2007, for years over-billed clients on "cost-plus" contracts by converting the costs it incurred in euros into sterling and then marking-up the higher value. The ruse came to light in litigation against the managers of Cosalt Offshore UK that was settled out of court and necessitated years of pay-back to the unsuspecting client through monthly credit notes, putting further financial strain on Cosalt.
Equally seriously, the chief executive of a Norwegian business acquired by Cosalt, which became Cosalt Offshore Norway, has reported that Cosalt directors repeatedly told him to manipulate accounts to flatter the ailing company's figures to meet conditions imposed by it's bankers. On one occasion he was told, in his words, "to count the value of major customers' capital equipment on to Offshore Norway books", even though the kit did not belong to the company. When he refused, he was told the kit would simply go on to "Aberdeen's (another part of Cosalt's) books". The finance director of one Cosalt company also told him they were looking at "a way [in] which the profits made last year could be reduced so that wecan increase profits of this year", again to satisfy its bankers. This would have affected arrangements for paying the Norwegian boss, which were based on the earlier year's profits, but the snag, he was assured, would be squared separately. "This is not what we are saying to the auditors though," explained Cosalt's finance man, "and must not be said to them."
While this was going on, Cosalt was heading down the tubes and Ross set about trying to take the company private. But he was only prepared to offer derisory amounts,initially 0.1p for shares that hadbeen worth more than £1. When the bid was rejected by minority shareholders, Ross increasedit to, er, 0.2p but still without any joy. By February this year Cosalt was placed in administration, from which Ross has already acquired the juiciest assets while unsecured creditors, including the taxpayer, have lost all.
The whole episode has been plagued by lack of information. Crucially, Cosalt failedto produce 2011 accounts, which may yet yield a criminal prosecution. Then there was Cosalt plc's pension deficit,never actuarially revalued in the three years up to the administration but repeatedly said to be £9m . It turns out to be, ahem, £53m, and willbe shouldered by Cosalt pensioners via reduced payouts and other pensioners through the government-backed pension protection fund.
Whether asking PwC to look into the alledged wrongdoing achieves anything is doubtful. As the last Eye reported, shareholders have complained to the chartered accountancy professional body that the firms appointment as administrator was beset by conflicts of interest (PwC having been Cosalt's none to brilliant financial advisor). The case increasingly looks like one for a thorough company investigation by Vince Cable's business department. But that's not something his boss, David Cameron, a sometime passenger in Ross' helicopter,is likely to welcome.|
|Any Breach of Fiduciary Duty along the line ?|
|Thank you rav, so where are sort with it all now then?
It does seem we have support from private eye.
|Thanks for the compilation of information Ravenna..... This makes me very Angry!!!!!!|
|justice - they jailed a minister and his wife for a few days. At what cost?|
|Cable is wrong - justice should prevail, whatever the cost - almost like saying that the person is dead, can't bring him back and therefore no point in pursuing the murderer - not a good use of public resources - don't think so|
the bounty hunter
|More from the eye
MORE on the collapse of Grimsby based oil services and industrial services supplier Cosalt plc, which went into a "prepack" administration earlier this year so that it could be swiftly bought up by it's chairman and big-time Tory donor David Ross at a knock-down price (see eye 1338).
All had not been well at the company for some time and allegations of financial irregularities were circulating long before the company's eventual collapse in February. This made Cosalt's shareholders (apart from it's main one Ross) highly suspicious when the company failed to prepare annual accounts ahead of meetings, including the June 2012 AGM, at which Ross tried (unsuccessfully) to take the company private under his ownership.
Complaints to Vince Cable's business department elicited the response from a government prosecution lawyer that "there is sufficient evidence for me to be satisfied that there is a realistic prospect of conviction" over what is a criminal offence. But since the courts generally only impose nominal penalties on companies in administration, said Cable's man, it would not be in the public interest to proceed. Not much deterrent there to high-profile company directors seeking to bury bad news for simply not accounting for their companies,then.
This episode, and losing all their money in questionable circumstances that for some time included Ross's conflicting positions as company chairman and would-be-buyer, has left shareholders fuming and venting their frustrations on an internet bulletin board. But now one man who lost a packet has found that comments are being monitored by lawyers from defamation specialists Harbottle & Lewis. When he reported this fact on the site, along with his objections to it, questioning whether what little was left of his money should be spent on eavesdropping on disgruntled shareholders, he received the stiffest of letters from Harbottles which included the statement "we wish to make clear for the avoidance of doubt that we do not act for the company". That was on the 29 January. Seventeen days later, Cosalt administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers released a list of the company's creditors, showing that it owed £40,916.35 to... Harbottle & Lewis.
Shareholders and pension scheme members, staring at a £50m shortfall in their fund and eventual losses in their retirement income, are still demanding to know why they were so badly fleeced and want answers to questions over financial irregularities, sales of assets at low valuations and failures to spot a looming £50m pension shortfall. But finding them will fall to the administrators PwC.
Once again those on the wrong end of British corporate collapse should not get their hopes up.|
|I would ask PwC and RBS about that, they have obviously all worked in cahoots to benefit themselves at the cost of pensioners, creditors and shareholders.|
|ravenna - has anyone ever mentioned at what time ross first looked into buying cosalt lock stock and barrel?|