Unsecured creditors await outcome of haulier’s claim for a WHOPPING £8 MILLION damages against European truck cartel


Picture: Motor Transport

Unsecured creditors await outcome of haulier’s claim for a WHOPPING £8 MILLION damages against European truck cartel

When Deben Transport collapsed in 2015 the haulier owed £2.4m to unsecured creditors and a hefty £1.4m to the taxman.

Ensors have been going through the books of the Felixstowe outfit and according to Chris Tindall in Motor Transport they could provide a financial ‘get of jail free card.’ And it’s all about a truck cartel highlighted by the European Commission.

The administrator reported: “We will continue to explore a potential claim for damages in relation to the European Commission ‘truck cartel’ ruling during the liquidation. This action may lead to a significant realisation which, depending on the extent of such an award, could result in full repayment to the secured creditors, as well as a potential return to both the preferential and unsecured creditors.”

Chris Tindall said: “In July 2016, the European Commission (EC) found that a number of truck manufacturers had broken EU anti-trust rules. The report said Deben Transport was operating 147 tractor units at the date of its administration and that it undertook a regular turnover of vehicles during the 14-year period when the EC found truck manufacturers colluded on pricing and gross price increases.”

The report said: “We understand that the industry standard is to renew vehicles on a rolling four year plan. On this basis, if the company operated c450 vehicles during the period, this could result in a potential claim of c£4m to £8m.”

Ian Carrotte of ICSM who is well versed in such matters said the figures sounded enticing as it would be unlikely the suppliers would recoup any cash after all this time. He said: “If Ensors are right then it could be a long legal battle with the cartel’s lawyers happy to argue until the cows come home. It’s better not to be caught out in the first place. Never trade with a firm that is thought to be about to go bust.”

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