Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

50p in pound for Farepak customers

Liquidators have announced former Farepak customers will be paid back about half the money they lost in the collapse of the hamper firm

Former Farepak customers will be paid back about half the money they lost in the collapse of the Christmas hamper business, liquidators have said.

Business services firm BDO said they will make dividend payments to Farepak's creditors, including customers and agents, at the end of next month.

They confirmed that a payment of about 32p in the £1 will be made, including the £8 million which Lloyds Banking Group announced it was making available to former Farepak customers last week.

When added to the 17.5p in the pound given by the Farepak Response Fund charity, set up by the Government in 2006, customers will have received a total of approximately 50p in the pound, BDO said.

The liquidators said they will aim to make dividend payments to Farepak's 114,000 creditors at the end of August, which will for them mark the end of the liquidation of Farepak. The High Court previously heard that, following the firm's downfall six years ago, claims by customers and agents against Farepak amounted to about £37 million.

Suzy Hall, national co-ordinator for campaign group Unfairpak, hailed today's announcement as a victory.

She said: "To think we started in 2006 with zero. To finally be able to pay out an extra 32p is a fantastic result. Never in my wildest imagination did I think we would get back 50p in the pound. Unfairpak believe we have won."

Ms Hall commended the work of the liquidators, who have waived some of their fees and been "very mindful" of costs.

She said: "The demographic of Farepak savers is low-income women so this is absolutely wonderful."

She thanked those who have helped to fight a tough six-year battle, saying: "Unfairpak and MPs have fought a very hard and good campaign. They have kept the pressure up and the media allowed us to keep this story running."

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