No fewer than 27 leasing companies are facing losses of tens of
millions of pounds following the collapse of a lessee.

The lessee, Leicester-based manufacturer, Engineering Plastic
Products Global (EPP), which filed for administration in November,
in collaboration with a Stoke on Trent based broker, HTL Ltd,
allegedly sought financings from a number of lessors for each
single piece of equipment.

The scale of the losses faced by the leasing industry, with a
single customer which was not itself a major corporation, raises
serious questions about lessors’ ability to carry out due diligence
on their clients.

It should also strengthen calls for lessors and asset financiers
to participate in arrangements for the registration of title in
leased assets.

The names of the lessors concerned with EPP Global, which makes
moving plastic parts for the motor manufacturing and medical
equipment industries, read almost like a roll call of the UK
leasing industry. They include Lombard, HSBC, Bank of Scotland,
Co-operative Bank, Barclays Asset Finance, CIT, Clydesdale, Allied
Irish Bank, Alliance & Leicester, Siemens Financial Services,
Landesbank, Bank of Ireland, Deutsche Leasing and Fortis

HTL, which is based in Whieldon Industrial Estate in Stoke on
Trent, is not part of the administration and continues to

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A spokesman for HTL declined to comment to Leasing Life, beyond
confirming the company’s trading relationship with EPP Global. He
declined to reveal his name.

It is not clear whether any criminal fraud investigation may
have commenced. The lessors have given priority to civil recovery

Until a few months ago EPP was known as Nylacast Materials. The
change of name followed a £30m management buyout for a separate
part of the original company, which itself is still trading as
Nylacast and manufactures engineering components. That MBO
operation is not involved in the administration.

PricewaterhouseCoopers partners Matthew Hammond, Colin Haig and
Stuart Maddison, EPP’s administrators, declined to comment.

By all accounts hopes are high of finding a buyer for the core
business of EPP Global. The international company employs 300 staff
across 11 industrial premises in Leicester, together with overseas
factories in China, the Philippines, Russia and Mexico.

It nevertheless seems clear that the lessors and other creditors
of the existing company stand to lose most of the value of their