DBC’s unsecured creditors are in line to receive around 7p for every pound they were owed when the company collapsed in March.

A ‘statement of affairs’ filed at the high court in Manchester last week revealed the company’s administrators, Baker Tilly, have just £5.8m of assets available for unsecured creditors, who were left £83.7m out of pocket when the company went into administration.

A number of variables will affect the final amount, as a statement of affairs does not include income or outgoings since the company went bust. The final figure will take account of fees due to the administrators, lawyers and property agents and staff wages, as well as money raised by Baker Tilly as it continues to sell off DBC’s depots and collect debt from its customers.

However, administrator Russell Cash predicted the final amount available to creditors would translate to a “single-digit pence in the pound dividend”.

He added: “I think it has been a successful outcome even though the funds to be returned to creditors are likely to be a fraction of the overall debt due to them. In many insolvency cases, unsecured creditors end up with nothing. But the strategy we put in place to offer continuity of service to customers has meant debtor collections have been very good.

“We also got good value for the properties we sold, and these two things, combined with the successful sale of the MOD contract to Vestey and the manner in which this has been handled, have led to the prospect of a return to creditors.”

The unsecured creditors’ claims include £3.9m owed to employees for notice and redundancy pay beyond their statutory entitlement £39.7m to suppliers and a £40m pension deficit, which will be plugged by the government’s pension protection fund.