CREDITORS of a business with hundreds of staff at Bournemouth Airport should see at least some money after it went into administration and was sold to a different arm of its Chinese owner.

Aim Altitude UK Ltd and its parent company Aim Altitude Ltd, manufacturers of fixtures for aircraft interiors, called in administrators last June after making a £162million loss in 2020 and a £39.4m loss the year before.

The businesses, based at Hurn and Cambridge, were sold out of administration for £2m to AVIC Cabin Systems (UK) Ltd, a sister business of Aim Altitude Ltd. All had the same ultimate owner, the Chinese-owned AVIC Cabin Systems Co Ltd.

In a previous report, joint administrator Helen Dale of Grant Thornton, said: “The group has incurred significant losses in prior years. These losses were initially a result of a number of loss-making legacy contractual relationships but were compounded by the Covid-19 outbreak that caused manufacturing delays and escalated substantial changes in the tourism and aviation industry.

“The period of losses culminated insignificant financial distress. To overcome these on a solvent basis would have required both a fundamental restructuring of the AIM Group’s balance sheets and substantial renegotiation of its contractual relationships with major customers.”

In their latest report, Helen Dale and Jon Roden, also of Grant Thornton, said 383 staff have been transferred to the new owner, which is operating the Bournemouth site.

They said creditors of Aim Altitude UK Ltd – which has since been renamed AUK Realisations Ltd – were owed around £59.1m.

This included £8.7m for trade creditors and accruals, £3m in claims for breach of contract, and an estimated £46m to its own parent company, Aim Altitude Ltd, which has been renamed AA Holdco Realisations Ltd.

The administrators said the amount to be paid to unsecured creditors was estimated at between 14 and 21 pence in the pound.

The parent company’s debts to unsecured creditors were expected to total £204m, but these included £175m in loan notes from its shareholder AVIC Cabin Systems Ltd and £22m in claims from its subsidiaries.

Its unsecured creditors are expected to receive 3-5 pence in the pound.

The administrators reported: “It is anticipated that a final dividend will be paid during a CVL (creditors’ voluntary liquidation) process which is expected to commence within six months of this report.

“The administrations are currently due to end on June 20, 2023. The administrations will end by converting to a CVL as there will be sufficient funds to make a distribution to unsecured non-preferential creditors in both estates.”

Administrators marketed the company’s Cambridge site in December 2022 and the sale was expected to complete in the first quarter of this year. The Bournemouth Airport site is owned by Eastleigh Borough Council, which is owed an estimated £288,000.

Some MPs, including former Conservative leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith, have called on the government to review the involvement of the Chinese government in the companies after last year’s sale.