Collapsed Britishvolt owes HMRC over £3.1m in unpaid tax and national insurance, reveals latest EY insolvency report.
According to its progress report, HMRC had submitted a secondary preferential claim of £5.13m, consisting of £3.48m in outstanding PAYE and national insurance contributions (NICs) and also £1.65m in VAT.
This was subsequently revised down to £3.1m following further evidence and detailed review and analysis.
The Australian battery start-up firm that rescued Britishvolt from administration has also failed to make the final payment of its acquisition agreement, which was due on 5 April 2023.
Recharge Industries bought the collapsed battery manufacture in February for £8.57m, following its fall into administration.
It is estimated that total unsecured creditor claims may be in the region of £130m to £160m, with the largest claim being made by Southwest firm DC Energy, which is owed £26.6m. It had a deal with Britishvolt to supply manufacturing gear worth £86m.
The four other largest unsecured claims are for UK manufacturing company, Hana Technology Co, owed £22.3m; Swiss commodity company, Glencore International AG at £20m; Property investment firm, Evans Randall Services Limited, owed £10.7m and engineering company, Manz AG, at £9.6m.
EY intends to provide an update on the expected unsecured creditor position in its next progress report to creditors, either after the administration or in six months’ time.
During the administration period, EY has incurred expenses totalling £1.24m plus VAT, which include legal fees of up to £499,593, employee costs of £479,024 and security expenses of £98,801.
In the firm’s progress report, it said: ‘The joint administrators reviewed the calculations submitted by HMRC, which appeared to have been based on extrapolated estimates and, following a request to provide further evidence and a detailed review and analysis of the company’s data, HMRC’s secondary preferential claim was revised down.
‘Due to commercial sensitivities surrounding the current status of this matter, the joint administrators cannot comment on this situation any further at the moment.’
Scale Facilitation, the US-based parent company of Recharge, has denied that it had defaulted on the deal. The company, which is run by Collard, said: ‘We dispute that we are in default. The timing of the final instalment of the administrators is linked to a funding facility, which when closed will also cover the cost of the land acquisition and provide additional working capital for the project.
‘The timing of the final instalment of the administrators is linked to a funding facility, which when closed will also cover the cost of the land acquisition and provide additional working capital for the project.’
Britishvolt had planned to build a £3.8bn battery gigafactory to supply UK-built electric vehicles, backed by £100m in grant funding from the UK government, creating up to 8,000 jobs. However, it collapsed into administration in late January, after running out of cash.