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4 March, 2009 - 13:07 By Tony Quested

RIP: Cambridge wireless firm, Ionica bequeaths 43m pounds

The last rites are about to be read over the richest corpse in Cambridge business history.

It is now 10 years since the administration process started at stricken telecoms business Ionica plc. In that time a staggering £43 million total cash has been distributed to shareholders. Following the latest windfalls the directors have called a meeting where Ionica will be placed into voluntary liquidation. The meeting is being held near London Bridge on March 27 where the winding up will be triggered. Micadant plc, the vehicle created to handle Ionica’s administration, received a payment of over £224k from the Ionica scheme last month. This was the final payment to Ionica creditors and the board has approved payment of a further dividend to shareholders of £278,000 – representing £205 per ordinary share. The payment distributes the remaining available assets of the company, says Micadant chairman Tony Coleman. He says in a letter to shareholders: “It has been our primary objective to maximise the realisation of assets and distribute funds to our shareholders. “Shareholders will be aware that this has been a very complex process from both a legal and taxation perspective, but the end result is a total cash distribution of around £43m. “We have worked with Assets Reunited to reunite as many shareholders as possible with unclaimed distributions and approx imately £500,000 has been returned in this way.” Ionica went bust in 1998. It was Cambridge’s first £1 billion turnover company at its prime before a litany of problems dragged it under. Its founder Nigel Playford is the largest individual shareholder with just under 5.4 million - 3.1 per cent of the company.

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