Black Sea and Baltic General Insurance Company Limited

Effective date of scheme: 23 December 2003
Date of insolvency: 24 August 1998
Type of appointment: Provisional Liquidation/Scheme of Arrangement
Appointment holders: Dan Schwarzmann
Nigel Rackham
Payment percentage to date: 57.69%
Key contacts: Clare L Whitcombe
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
7 More London Riverside
Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7804 4844
Company background: Black Sea and Baltic General Insurance Company Limited ("BSB") ceased underwriting and stopped paying claims on 24 August 1998 when it entered Provisional Liquidation. Its estimated liabilities as at 31 December 2002 were over £65 million. BSB wrote general insurance and reinsurance business covering marine, aviation, non-marine and personal lines. It also wrote life insurance business but the life account was transferred with effect from 31 December 1997 to Century Life Plc. BSB had a branch in Paris and also wrote policies through overseas agencies.

BSB entered a Scheme of Arrangement ("Scheme") under Section 425 of the Companies Act 1985, which became effective on 23 December 2003. The Scheme was an 'estimation' scheme (sometimes called a 'valuation' or 'cut-off' scheme) and was designed to bring the run-off to a close through an actuarial estimation of all liabilities. The majority of liabilities arose from long-tail asbestos, pollution and other health hazard claims emanating from the USA.

There were approximately 50,000 live policies at the date of the provisional liquidation. Over 80% of these policies were transferred to other insurers ensuring continuity of cover for the holders of such policies. The inwards book of business was crystallised under the Scheme and crystallisation statements were sent to all scheme creditors indicating their net claim. The first dividend payments of 30% were made in December 2004, and an interim dividend of 15% was paid in December 2005. A third and final dividend of 12.69% was paid in December 2007 bringing the total Scheme dividend to 57.69%.

On 18 July 2008, the Scheme in relation to BSB terminated in accordance with its terms, and on 23 July 2008 the petition for the winding up of BSB was presented to the High Court. The Official Receiver ("OR") was appointed on this date.

The details of the official receiver are listed below:

Address: 5th Floor, Zone B
21 Bloomsbury Street
London WC1B 3SS
DX: DX 120875 Bloomsbury 6DX
Telephone: 0207 637 1110
Fax: 0207 291 6889
Next Steps:  We understand that the OR will carry out any duties required under the provisions of the Insolvency Act 1986 following which he will make an application for his release as liquidator. In order for Black Sea to remain in existence and so that future claims can then be processed by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme as appropriate, we also understand the OR will instruct the Registrar of Companies not to strike the company off the Register.

Information correct as at: April 2014

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