In July 2020, we told you that Norton Motorcycles’ entire Castle Donington property was now up for sale. We also told you that, according to the company’s ex-CEO, there should be enough money to repay the pension investors their capital. Now, we have some good news! Thanks to the UK Companies House and its timely release of publicly available documents, it appears as though the numbers might be there to back that up!
When a UK company goes into administration, it’s required to file a “notice of statement of affairs.” The document details a company’s assets and liabilities, and must be prepared by a professional insolvency practitioner. In this case, BDO administrators Lee Causer and Danny Dartnaill are the two names listed on the official documentation, which is now publicly available via Companies House.
A Statement of Affairs differs from a balance sheet in one crucial way: it’s permissible for the former to include estimates, which must be given in good faith, and which must strive to be as accurate as possible. However, it’s not required to be completely accurate down to the last decimal place, unlike a balance sheet.
The Statement was filed under the name “NMUL Realisations Limited,” a clear acronym for “Norton Motorcycles (UK) Limited,” and likely a change made simply to free up the name so that TVS or another buyer could purchase the business. Now that the public is able to view this document, it’s clear that what ex-CEO Stuart Garner alluded to earlier in July seems to be correct.
Two neat columns are labeled as “approximate book value” of a list of assets and liabilities, and “estimated to realise.” In other words, book value and market value. This document was filed with Companies House on January 29, 2020, but was only recently finalized and made public in July, 2020.
The good news for creditors—crucially including those pension investors—is this: Going by market value realization estimates, there should be enough money to pay all creditors and still have a £4,927,383 surplus left over.
How soon those pensioners can expect to receive their money is a question we don’t have an answer to at the moment, but it’s at least good to know that there should be enough money to satisfy those debts. Eventually.