London -Â Representatives of the Rapra Pensioners' Action Group have sought clarification from local members of Parliament about the insolvency of Rapra Technology Ltd 18 months ago.
In a press release, RPAG representatives, Dr. David Wright and Christine Wright say local Conservative MPs, Owen Paterson (MP for North Shropshire) and Daniel Kawczynski (MP for Shrewsbury & Atcham) both feel there is a case to answer.
The RPAG said the company went into administration following an unfounded assertion by a single director that the Rapra pension fund was suffering a Â£10 million shortfall. That figure has never, according to the RPAG, been substantiated.
The RPAG says in the relase, "the financial statement of affairs that is a requirement of the Insolvency Act has not been forthcoming. It looks to pensioners as if Rapra Technology Ltd passed into administration on the unsupported assertion of a sole director."
Further, the RPAG says the Administrator repaid, "to Rapra Ltd of a loan of Â£1.647 million, apparently unaware that it had been written off." RPAG says the loan was made to help fund the management buyout of Rapra in 2002. That MBO was led by seven members of management who between them put up only Â£200 000 in cash (around Â£30 000 each), the remainder of the acquisition being funded by this loan from the pension fund.
"It is now clear," said the RPAG, "that the MBO deal dramatically destabilised the pension fund by shifting it from a comparatively asset-rich company to one that had no resources to cover a pension fund deficit.