The joint trustees of the bankruptcy estate of Boris Becker have announced that they have instructed their agents, Wyles Hardy, to auction the former tennis star’s trophies and memorabilia. The Timed Online Auction is now live, and closes 11 July 2019.
Boris Becker was declared bankrupt on 21 June 2017 and Mark Ford, Finbarr O’Connell and Gil Lemon, all of Smith & Williamson LLP, were appointed as joint trustees of the bankruptcy estate of Mr Becker on 21 August 2017.
As part of their duties, the trustees instructed agents, Wyles Hardy, to auction the recovered trophies and memorabilia with the proceeds to be for the benefit of Mr Becker’s creditors. An auction was originally planned for June 2018. However, on 26 June 2018 Mr Becker applied to the Court for an injunction to prevent the auction, set to end on 28 June 2018, from taking place.
On 19 November 2018 and following Mr Becker's formal withdrawal of his claims, the Court ordered that the Trustees be allowed to proceed to a sale.
Mark Ford, joint trustee to the estate of Boris Becker, said:
“We are pleased that there has been very strong interest shown in the auction items from a number of parties based across the world and initial signs are indicating that the auction is on course to provide a substantial return for the benefit of Mr Becker’s creditors.
“It may be recalled that the auction of these items was previously scheduled to take place last year, however, we concluded that Mr Becker's application in June 2018 for an injunction to prevent the auction, and the associated publicity that it generated, may have deflated potential realisations of the trophies and memorabilia. Our view was that bidders may have experienced uncertainty resulting from the claims asserted by Mr Becker in support of his application. The auction had attracted very substantial bids and, in our experience, had it not been for Mr Becker's intervention, last minute bids would have significantly increased the return for his creditors. As officers of the court we look to obtain the best possible return for creditors, so at a Court hearing on 27 June 2018 we agreed to the temporary adjournment of the auction so that Mr Becker’s claims could be dealt with before the Court.
“In turn and through a third party, Mr Becker provided an undertaking to cover the damages and costs associated with his very late request to postpone the sale, such damages to include compensation for the cost of having to subsequently re-run the auction; and also for the prospect of a re-run auction generating a lesser return.
“Following our agreement to adjourn the auction, the trustees instructed their lawyers to robustly resist Mr Becker's claims that the trustees should not be permitted to realise the trophies and memorabilia. As a result, on 19 November 2018 and following Mr Becker's formal withdrawal of his claims, the Court ordered that the Trustees be allowed to proceed to a sale. The Court also ordered that Mr Becker be liable for the Trustees' costs incurred in dealing with the dispute.
“Accordingly, and following the Court Order, the joint trustees instructed Wyles Hardy to arrange a further auction of the trophies and memorabilia. The Timed Online Auction will be scheduled to close on July 11th 2019. Lots may be viewed on July 9th 2019 at Wyles Hardy & Co Ley Hill Road, Bovingdon, Hemel Hempstead, HP3 0NW. Strictly by appointment only.
“Now that the auction has been resumed and initial signs are showing that the level of excitement in this rare opportunity for tennis fans to acquire memorabilia of this kind is exceeding that of last year, we look forward to shortly concluding a successful sale of these items and, as this will be one of the final asset realisations in the bankruptcy, we anticipate declaring a dividend to creditors later this year.
The online auction can be viewed here: https://www.wyleshardy.com/product/for-sale-by-timed-online-auction/
By necessity, this briefing can only provide a short overview and it is essential to seek professional advice before applying the contents of this article. No responsibility can be taken for any loss arising from action taken or refrained from on the basis of this publication. Details correct at time of publication.
Notes to editors
Smith & Williamson is an independently owned professional and financial services group with over 1,800 people. The group is a leading provider of investment management, financial advisory and accountancy services to private clients, professional practices and mid-to-large corporates. The group has twelve offices; these are in London, Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cheltenham, Dublin (City and Sandyford), Glasgow, Guildford, Jersey, Salisbury and Southampton.
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