Unsecured creditors of collapsed firm Parabis have been told to expect just half of the already meagre anticipated return on their outstanding debts.

An administrators’ progress report, published this week, confirmed unsecured creditors will receive less than a penny in the pound of what they are owed – down from the original estimate of two pence.

The total sum owed to unsecured creditors has now leapt up to £113.9m, with the uplift from previous reports (when the debt was estimated at £78m) explained by a VAT liability across seven members of the group.

The company, one of the first legal entities to attract external investment from a private equity house, went into administration last November and was broken up and sold.

In total, lenders and financiers are owed £65.1m across the Parabis group: the first lien lenders will receive between 40% and 57% of their owed amount, while the second lien will receive nothing.

Administrator AlixPartners said it has conducted investigations into the conduct of the directors and transactions entered into before the company’s insolvency.

This involved reviewing the company’s books and records, pre-appointment bank statements and management accounts. Questionnaires completed by the directors and partners were also reviewed.

The report added: ‘The administrators also liaised with company staff in order to confirm whether there was any conduct that required further investigation.

‘Based upon the outcome of the investigations, there were no matters identified that required further action.’

The report also states that administrators’ fees have been estimated at £77,000, based on 236 hours charged at an average rate of £326 per hour. Legal costs are anticipated as £22,500.

The administration is likely to be extended for an extra 12 months, with the next progress report to be published in November.

The deal to sell off various parts of the Parabis business was believed to have saved almost 2,000 jobs across the group.

National firm Lyons Davidson bought some of the claimant division of Cogent Law and the Parabis joint venture with Saga Law in a deal valued at an estimated £500,000.

The remainder of the Cogent Law business was sold to Merseyside firm Carpenters Law in an arrangement likely to be worth £3m.