Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Wrekin ruby saga - valuation jumped from £300,000 to £11m

Ashgates, the Derby-based accountancy group that signed off Tamar’s 2007 accounts has adopted a low profile over its acceptance of the £11m valuation of ruby known as “The Gem of Tanzania”.

In the previous year and with different accountants checking its books, Tamar claimed ownership of a gemstone worth just ВЈ300,000.

But it was the £11m valuation that allowed David Unwin, Tamar’s owner, to walk into Wrekin Construction two years ago as its white knight, a much needed appearance given the parlous state of the company’s finances as a result of losses run up while former owner Simon Crain and John Worthington, chief executive, set the agenda.

Ashgates is based at 5 Prospect Place, Millennium Way, Pride Park, Derby.


Wrekin ruby saga - valuation jumped from £300,000 to £11m


When contacted today, Ashgates refused to discuss the gem. Requests were turned down with the reply: “We can’t comment.”

The gem’s value was authenticated according to accounts signed off by Ashgates at £11m thanks to a valuation said to have come from the Instituto Gemmologica Italiano (IGI) in its Valenza.

But IGI has subsequently said it was closed on the date of the claimed valuation and that its range of services only runs as far as quality checks and never to actual valuations.

Ashgates took on the role of accountants to Tamar after the group’s 2006 books were drawn up by a different accountancy firm called Paterson Brodie which is based in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent.

Tamar’s accounts for the 12 months to 31 December 2006 do include a gemstone amongst its list of assets – only this time valued at a more modest figure of £300,000.

The questions that former Wrekin Construction employees would no doubt expect Ashgates to help provide answers to are:

1 Was it the same gemstone?

2 Can Ashgates publish the gem's valuation certificate?

3 If it was the same gem, why did the value rise so dramatically?

3 If no, where did the previous gemstone go and where did the replacement come from?

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