appointed for car auctions company

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LIQUIDATORS have finally been appointed at a Yorkshire-based motor auctions company, more than five years after it collapsed.

Following a creditors’ meeting, Freddy Khalastchi and Martin Atkins of insolvency practitioners Harris Lipman have been appointed as joint liquidators of Premier Motorauctions and Premier Motorauctions - Leeds.

Mr Khalastchi told The Yorkshire Post: “It is the duty of any liquidator to conduct an independent and objective investigation into a company’s affairs and to determine the reasons for its failure. Obviously, we are at a very early stage of the liquidations, and will report to creditors on our findings in due course.”

Austin Mitchell, the MP for Great Grimsby, has called for a probe into the conduct of Lloyds Bank and PwC in connection with Leeds-based Premier 

Premier Motorauctions was sold out of administration by PwC to Scottish Motor Auctions in 2008, with Lloyds retaining 50 per cent ownership. Keith Elliott, who was the owner of Premier Motorauctions before it went into administration, contacted regulators to complain about how the sales process had been handled.

Both PwC and Lloyds deny any wrongdoing, and said the case has been investigated by financial regulators who concluded there was no case to answer.

A spokesman for Lloyds said: “To date no one has uncovered anything to support Mr Elliott’s allegations against the bank.”

A PwC spokesman said last week: “Business owners are understandably attached to their companies and can often find it difficult to come to terms with an insolvency procedure. PwC discharged its duties in accordance with insolvency laws and its statutory duties to the creditors.

“PwC’s insolvency practitioners and accountancy firms are heavily-regulated and subject to oversight by various supervisory bodies.

“In this instance, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and the Insolvency Service both investigated Mr Elliott’s claims and found no evidence of a conflict of interest on our engagement for Premier Motorauctions. There was no breach of the insolvency profession’s code of ethics.”