KPMG to quiz Unwins boss

25 July, 2008

Former director faces questioning over collapse of off-licence chain in 2006

A former Unwins director has been formally interviewed by administrators investigating alleged wrongdoing in the weeks before the collapse of the off-licence chain in 2006, according to

the Telegraph newspaper.

KPMG obtained a court order forcing the director - who hasn't been named - to answer questions relating to the alleged transfer of Unwins' takings to Devereux Montague, the private equity firm that bought Unwins nine months before it went under.

A court order was obtained by administrator KPMG forcing the ex-director to attend an interview.

According to the paper, KPMG is considering legal action against Devereux Montague director Philip Cook,

who has always strenuously denied any wrongdoing.

A progress report sent to creditors recently said: "We can advise that we have formally interviewed one of the former directors under section 236 of the Insolvency Act 1986."

It added that creditors will have the chance to decide in next month's creditors' committee meeting whether to pursue legal action of any kind.

Unwins went bust with debts of more than £30 million, with HM Revenue & Customs, Diageo and In bev among its major creditors.

Unwins employed 2,500 staff in almost 400 stores

and owed Revenue & Customs £16.1 million in unpaid taxes.

Unsecured creditors include In bev, which is owed £2.6 million, and Diageo, which is owed £2 million.

Unsecured creditors are owed around £16 million but are not expected to see a penny of their money.

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