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Internaçionale’s £47m debt leaves creditors scrambling

Most creditors could receive nothing at all from the collapse of Internaçionale UK, which owes £47m in unsecured debts.

FC Fund Managers, headed by Jason Granite, will receive £4.4m after purchasing £34m of unsecured debt shortly before the chain entered administration.

Documents published by administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers show that FC Fund Managers is owed £34m of the total £47m unsecured debt racked up by the retailer. As the debt is unsecured, FC Fund Managers will claim the same proportion as the other creditors - 0.013p in the pound, equivalent to £4.42m. It is not known how much the company paid for the debt originally.

A well-placed source said it had been acquired weeks before Internaçionale UK went under. Trade creditors, including suppliers and landlords, are owed £11m.

Documents sent out by PwC suggest there are more than 450 creditors in total. One creditor told Drapers this could rise significantly, however, noting that in some instances the amounts shown on the documents were less than the debts they were claiming.

Secured creditors include Barclays Bank, and are owed around £14m in total. They will be at the top of the list when it comes to recouping monies owed, followed by PwC and then Internaçionale employees. When the company entered administration in February, it employed around 1,000 people.

PwC was unable to comment on how Internaçionale UK - which had only been trading since July last year - had racked up so much debt before it entered administration.

Separately, the documents reveal that Internaçionale had estimated its goodwill at just under £35m. This figure has now been written off.

PwC told Drapers there would be no creditors’ meeting as there was not enough money in the kitty to make it worthwhile.

One supplier, who claims they are owed nearly £500,000, said creditors had been told they would have to foot the bill - between £2,000 and £5,000 - if they insisted on having a meeting.

No one will receive anything until the end of the year at the earliest, PwC said.

Joint administrator Bruce Cartwright said the plan continued to be for Internaçionale to trade over the next couple of months to realise as much from the sale of stock as possible.

No closures were expected as Drapers went to press.

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