Bright Forced Into Bankruptcy by Independent Collapse

August 24, 2001

Michael Bright, the founder and former CEO of the U.K.’s failed Independent Insurance Co., announced yesterday that he was unable to pay an estimated £5 million ($7.25 million) in debts and had filed for personal bankruptcy earlier this month.

Bright, who’s currently under investigation by British insurance regulators and the serious fraud office for his part in the collapse of Independent, saw his holdings in the company, worth over $80 million as recently as a year ago, become worthless when it was put into liquidation last June.

His main creditor, Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank, is seeking repayment of a $6.25 million loan which was secured by his shares in Independent. Bright apparently decided to seek bankruptcy protection immediately, rather than delay the process until his creditors had obtained judgments.

Bright’s decision isn’t expected to have any effect on Independent’s liquidation proceedings, which are being handled by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

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