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Ownerships receiver forfeits 'buy back' shares

The official receiver winding up Ownerships Ltd. has reached the end of the line over the infamous 'buy back' shares.

He could not show that he owned the shares and neither he nor anyone else who might claim ownership has paid the bills that have built up since last May.

As with any other owner, allowing bills to remain unpaid until they exceed the value of the share results in forfeiting the share.  After taking legal advice, BCBM has acted for the syndicates owning boats managed by them who had these shares.  On behalf of these syndicates, BCBM gave the receiver – or whoever owned the shares – 7 days to pay up or forfeit the shares back to the syndicates.  The format of the letter sent on behalf of each syndicate and in relation to each share was here (behind a link, but it seems to have gone), with some explanatory notes.

No payment was received, so the syndicates have taken their shares back.  They will now either sell them to recoup the money paid out by them on behalf of the defaulting owner or they will absorb them to reduce the total number of shares in their boats.

Shadow is the first of the ex-Ownerships boats to have a
buy-back share reclaimed by her syndicate
and sold to a new owner.
The first of these shares – in Shadow – went on offer at the Braunston Show and was sold.  The money has gone into the syndicate's bank account to help pay for refurbishments.

If the receiver had acted when BCBM first asked him to, he could have got some value from these shares, but his delay and reluctance to do anything has turned potential assets into net liabilities.  Now that the liabilities exceed the value of the shares, the receiver has no option but to accept the syndicates' decision.

If he were to attempt any legal action, all he could prove would be that he once owned the shares, was liable for the payments and defaulted.  He couldn't use the boats – as is the case with any owner who fails to pay their contributions – and he couldn't sell the shares to anyone else without first clearing the debt and offering them to their respective syndicates.

The syndicates have written off the outstanding debts over and above the buy-back value of the shares, as set by Ownerships.  This was the price paid to former owners when their shares were bought back.  This means that there are no additional liabilities accruing to Ownerships Ltd (in receivership) to compete with the interests of other creditors.

It is clearly up to other syndicates to either follow this example or to continue to pay a disproportionate amount of their boat costs while they wait for the official receiver to actually face up to his responsibilities.  On present performance, that could be a very long wait indeed.

Any syndicate following this route should be sure to include the cost of selling the reclaimed shares.  BCBM Boat Share would be happy to act for them in offering their shares for sale on its website and at the many shows it attends.  To discuss this, contact Andrew Barton on 01270 628076 or email






Dear Sir or Madam,                                                                                                                                       Date

To whoever owns share X1 in Narrowboat Somename2, BW registration number 1234562

Copied to - Chris Barnett, official receiver winding up Ownerships Ltd.

I have been instructed by the members of the syndicate owning narrowboat Somename to inform you that, because you have paid nothing for the maintenance or management of the boat since before 1st May 2010, the amounts due have exceeded the value of the share and the syndicate has reclaimed the share to be sold for the benefit of the syndicate and to offset these accrued costs as per their syndicate agreement.

Unless, therefore, cleared funds to settle your outstanding bills are received by BC Boat Management Ltd. within 7 days, you will no longer be an owner of a share in narrowboat Somename or a member of the syndicate.

The share was 'bought back' into your ownership by the former Ownerships Ltd. using funds provided by contributors to the 'buy-back scheme' at a valuation based on one twelfth of an insurance value for buy-back purposes of £99,9993 set by Ownerships Ltd and specified in the minutes of the Annual General meeting of owners of Narrowboat Shadow held on (meeting date) 2009,
namely                                                                                                                                                       £0.00

Against this value are set the costs incurred since 1st May 2010 and remaining unpaid:4

Boat running cost payments from 1/5/10                                                                                                     £0.00

Boat management costs from 1/5//10                                                                                                          £0.00

Winter maintenance costs 2010/2011                                                                                                         £0.00

Brokerage cost to offer share for sale (through BCBM Boat Share Ltd.)5                                                £250.00

Settlement of outstanding debt to marina/yard                                                                                             £0.00

Additional administrative costs arising from non-payment                                                                             £0.00

Total costs accrued:                                                                                                                                   £0.00

Deficit of accrued costs over share value:6                                                                                                   £0.00

In reclaiming the share from you for the benefit of the syndicate, this outstanding debt will now be written off and the syndicate will make no further demands on you.  You will have no rights or interest in Narrowboat Somename and the syndicate will not accept any attempt by you to sell or assign the share to any other party

Yours faithfully,

Text Box:  
Individual share identification.  Ownerships identified the position of each share in the list.  We don't have that identification, so we used a letter based on this year's booking chart position.
The name of your boat and its registration number, which is unique
This value should be on the notes of your 2009 owners' meeting sent out by Ownerships.  It is probably in the section on 'Projected expenditure in 2010'.
Include all the accrued costs.  Even if your boat is self-managed, there will have been some management costs involved.  If there was a local plan to keep you cruising last summer, include these costs as well.
Once this process is complete and the receiver has not paid the outstanding bills, BCBM Boat Share Ltd. can offer your buy back shares for sale if you wish, whether you are self-managed or with another management company.  Shares are promoted through the BCBM website, at shows and through the offices at Nantwich and Braunston.  It costs a non-refundable £50 deposit to register and the brokerage fee (£250 or 5% of sale price, whichever is greater, less the deposit) is only payable if BCBM Boat Share sells the share.
The difference between the buy-back valuation and the total of all the costs accrued.  On some newer boats, this may not yet be a net deficit, so you may need to wait until it is.













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