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Bailiffs strip out farm after firm folds with £23m debts
ADMINISTRATORS took away several trucks full of cattle from a family-run company that officials believe has more than £23m of debt.
As many as 30 security guards with unmarked vehicles with blacked-out licence plates, as well as police vans, have been at S Morgan and Sons Limited, which is centred on Field Farm on Netherton Road in Appleton, for two days.
The firm – which officials believe between September 2011 and September 2012 made a loss of £1,700,114 – is run by brothers David, Nigel, Richard and Colin Morgan and has been in operation since December 1990.
There are around 600 cattle on the site – and those are now being taken away as administrators carry out work at the site.
Villagers have watched on as police and security staff patrol the site – but until yesterday, little was known about what was happening there.
Several locals have spoken to the Oxford Mail, but all were unwilling to be named.
One said: “The cattle are being removed and they make quite a noise.
“Last night the whole yard was lit up and there is 24-hour security surveillance down there looking after the cattle themselves.”
The firm has been in administration since January 25.
Joint administrators Duff and Phelps, and Moorfields Corporate Recovery, were appointed by an order of the High Court Chancery Division. In the joint administration proposal drawn up in March 2013, it believes the company owes £23,408,123.
The proposal suggests the company is owed £4,573,392 by debtors and has stock worth £3,565,065, but has only £23,928 in cash.
The joint administrators proposal said the “company has exhausted all of its available working capital facilities with no prospect of being able to raise additional funding in order to allow the company to continue trading”.
And yesterday, Charolais cows from the herd of around 600 were taken away. Property agent Savills values the herd at between £700,000 and £800,000. S Morgan and Sons Limited undertake arable and livestock farming from its main base at Field Farm. The firm also holds 100 per cent of shares in meat firm Fresh Farm Limited.
The company has 18 employees with the majority being members of the Morgan family.
Around 29 family members occupy the 108-acre residential property. It comprises seven houses, livestock buildings and a meat processing plant and is available to buy on the Savills website for £3,475,000.
A Thames Valley police spokesman said: “It’s a civil repossession order. Our neighbourhood team was patrolling to reassure the local community.
“Firearms were removed on Thursday and they surrendered them voluntarily.
“It’s a civil matter and police will not be taking any action on the behalf of the administrators. The police are there for reassurance and liaison.”