SMART meter firm Bglobal has announced it is to pay out £11.7million to shareholders ahead of being wound up.

The firm, which had been based in Darwen and then Chorley before selling its two main arms Bglobal Metering and Utiligroup, also aims to withdraw from the stock market ahead of appointing liquidators.

Shareholders have been notified of the moves ahead of the company’s AGM at the end of this month, at which they will be urged to vote in favour of all the resolutions.

It comes after a period of turmoil for the firm where a boardroom coup last year saw founder and chairman Peter Kennedy removed and later his son, finance director Nick Kennedy, was sacked.

In May, the firm sold Bglobal Metering in Commercial Road, Darwen, to Scottish company Energy Assets Ltd, and the following month Utiligroup in Chorley was sold in a management buyout worth £16million.

Now bosses want to return shares at a value of 11p each to shareholders, keeping £4.7million back to deal with potential liabilities going forward.

And according to a company statement to shareholders, ‘chairman John Grant and Tim Jackson-Smith intend to appoint liquidators to formally wind up the company as soon as practicable following the determination or settlement of all material contingent liabilities’.

Tim Jackson-Smith, group chief executive, said: “Since the end of the financial year, Bglobal Metering has been sold to Energy Assets Group for a cash consideration of £2.3m and Utiligroup has been sold to a new company backed by NorthEdge Capital for a cash consideration of £16.1million.

“The board intends to return cash to shareholders as soon as possible and a circular will be sent to shareholders setting out proposals and timing in this regard.

“I would like to thank the board and staff for their support during a very challenging period for the group.

“I am confident that both Bglobal Metering and Utiligroup will flourish under their new owners and that the people in those businesses will thrive and continue to make the most of the opportunities that present themselves.”