31 March 1995

£1.9m outstanding

LIVESTOCK hauliers are among those owed an estimated £1.9m after the demise of satellite auctioneering group CLASS.

The Newton Abbot-based firm went into voluntary liquidation this week, having first changed its name to Highweek Realisations.

But David Jones, formerly managing director of CLASS, said that he expected a "very large percentage" of debts to be paid. "I do not expect there to be a big difference between the value of the assets and debts," he said.

The move follows the recent purchase of the companys assets and sales software by Midland Marts of Banbury.

Midland Marts, which is now operating the company under the name Satellite Livestock Auction Markets (SLAM), is adamant it acquired none of the liabilities. "We purchased the intellectual property right and assets we needed. We took over nothing by way of debts," says Midland Marts Ian Smethurst.

Now a SLAM trading director, Mr Jones claims that, at the time of liquidation, the company had "very substantial" assets. But this has done little to console some creditors who fear they will lose large sums of money.

Exporter Graham Gilder, who claims to be owed over £10,000, says he knows of at least 10 other hauliers due money. "We have not received a penny since we agreed to begin invoicing CLASS directly last month," he says.

But Mr Jones says the overwhelming majority of the debt is to livestock primary centres.

A creditors meeting has been arranged in Exeter for Apr 12. &#42