New ACCC case targets Google

Original article by Paul Smith, Yolanda Redrup
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 19 & 22 : 5-Nov-19

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission is preparing an antitrust case against Google over the collapse of mobile advertising group Unlockd. The ACCC’s case will centre on whether Google’s conduct in relation to Unlockd constituted a breach of section 46 of the Competition and Consumer Act, which prohibits the misuse of market power. Google is also the subject of antitrust proceedings in the US.

CORPORATES
GOOGLE INCORPORATED, UNLOCKD PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, ROKT PTY LTD, FITBIT INCORPORATED

Former Arrium directors face recovery action

Original article by Simon Evans
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 16 : 22-Jul-19

Insolvency firm KordaMentha has launched legal action in the New South Wales Supreme Court in an attempt to pursue former directors of failed steel firm Arrium for monies owed to its creditors. Arrium was placed in administration in April 2016 owing $2.8 billion to banks and noteholders. KordaMentha then operated the business as administrators until it was purchased by British billionaire Sanjeev Gupta for around $700 million in August 2017.

CORPORATES
KORDA MENTHA AND COLLEAGUES PTY LTD, SUPREME COURT OF NEW SOUTH WALES, ARRIUM LIMITED

Builder insolvencies soar, subbies call for safety net

Original article by Michael Bleby
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 29 : 6-Jun-19

Data from the Australian Securities & Investments Commission highlights the impact of the slowing residential market on the construction industry. Some 153 building firms across Australia were placed in administration during March, including 64 in New South Wales. Subcontractors have backed a 2017 proposal to establish deemed statutory trusts, which would ‘ringfence’ payments to subcontractors for projects worth more than $1m.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, SUBCONTRACTORS ALLIANCE, HOUSING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION LIMITED, SCHIAVELLO GROUP PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. OFFICE OF THE AUSTRALIAN SMALL BUSINESS AND FAMILY ENTERPRISE OMBUDSMAN

Missing Guvera boss Herft says he’s very easy to contact

Original article by Liam Walsh
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 & 24 : 26-Apr-19

The liquidators of failed music streaming company Guvera state that they have found it difficult to contact its CEO, Darren Herft, according to a creditors’ report. Glenn Spooner and Daniel Juratowitch of Cor Cordis say they have contacted the Australian Securities & Investments Commission for assistance on the matter, but that it has not yet been able to help them. However, Herft has rejected suggestions that he is hard to contact, saying he is in the US at the moment, where he intends to relaunch Guvera.

CORPORATES
GUVERA AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, GUVERA LIMITED, COR CORDIS PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AMMA PRIVATE EQUITY PTY LTD

Retailers at risk as consumers tighten belts

Original article by Sue Mitchell
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 20 : 25-Mar-19

Insolvency firm SV Partners has stated that 916 Australian retail outlets are at "high to severe risk of collapse" in the next 12 months. Its forecast is based on data from credit bureaus and providers. An online retailer with turnover of more than $1 billion is one of the businesses that are considered to be under threat. Deloitte Access Economics has stated that retail sales growth will fall to 1.6 per cent in 2019 as consumers curtail their spending; well-known retailers to have failed in recent months include Roger David and Shoes of Prey.

CORPORATES
SV PARTNERS PTY LTD, DELOITTE TOUCHE TOHMATSU LIMITED, ROGER DAVID STORES PTY LTD, SHOES OF PREY PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, ED HARRY MENSWEAR, NAPOLEON PERDIS COSMETICS PTY LTD, BEDS ‘R’ US PTY LTD

Gas prices send Remapak to the wall

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 : 21-Jan-19

Soaring gas prices have led to polystyrene coffee cup maker Remapak placing itself in administration. Remapak general manager Adam Hope noted that its gas costs had risen by around 400 per cent over the last three years, and that it was spending as much as $120,000 every fortnight on gas. The Sydney-based Remapak has been making foam products for over 40 years, with as many as 60 jobs at risk because of its collapse. Weston Energy MD Garbis Simonian says there will be more business collapses in the future if east coast gas prices are not pushed down to more affordable levels.

CORPORATES
REMAPAK PTY LTD, WESTON ENERGY, WORRELLS SOLVENCY AND FORENSIC ACCOUNTANTS, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, INCITEC PIVOT LIMITED – ASX IPL

Unlockd falls to Google threat and enters administration

Original article by Paul Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 : 13-Jun-18

Australian advertising technology group Unlockd has been placed in the hands of administrators from insolvency firm McGrath Nicol. Unlockd has attributed its descent into voluntary administration to the actions of Google, which has sought to ban Unlockd’s app from its Play Store and AdMob platforms. Courts in Australia and the UK have ruled in favour of Unlockd in its legal dispute with Google, which has been accused of engaging in "anti-competitive" conduct.

CORPORATES
UNLOCKD PTY LTD, McGRATH NICOL AND PARTNERS SERVICES PTY LTD, GOOGLE INCORPORATED, HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA, HIGH COURT OF ENGLAND AND WALES, MTV MUSIC TELEVISION, CITIBANK PTY LTD, CATCH-OF-THE-DAY.COM.AU

Aussie Farmers Direct wilts in tough market

Original article by Sue Mitchell
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 26 : 6-Mar-18

Aussie Farmers Direct was placed into voluntary administration on 5 March, 13 years after it first began delivering fresh produce to people at home. It had 100 franchisees and 260 employees, and Craig Shephard of KordaMentha says the business will cease trading immediately. One part of the company, Home Delivery Services, is not affected by the collapse and will continue to trade. Aussie Farmers Direct had sales of $A137m in 2014-15, but it lost $A15.5m. Its failure has been attributed to competition from supermarkets and meal-kit providers.

CORPORATES
AUSSIE FARMERS DIRECT, KORDA MENTHA AND COLLEAGUES PTY LTD, EQUITY PARTNERS PTY LTD, WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED – ASX WOW, SHAW INVESTMENTS, COLES SUPERMARKETS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, CRESCENT POINT, PEPPERLEAF, YOUFOODZ, FIVEPOINTFOUR, TASTEBOX, YOUR GROCER, THOMAS FARM KITCHEN, DISH’D, GOURMET DINNER SERVICE

$100m lost in Plutus tax scam

Original article by Geoff Winestock, David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 15-Jan-18

The liquidators of Plutus Payroll, the company at the centre of a tax fraud case, have released their first report to its creditors. Plutus Payroll and its associated companies have total debts of $A136 million. Based on how much Tim Norman of Deloitte Financial Advisory estimates will be recoverable from Plutus Payroll itself, it appears that the Australian Taxation Office may have to forgo around $A100 million. It is owed all but $A2 million of the debt.

CORPORATES
PLUTUS PAYROLL AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE, DELOITTE FINANCIAL ADVISORY, SYNEP, HARTFORD INVESTMENTS, KISMETS

Workers’ safety net tightened

Original article by Sarah Elks
The Australian – Page: 4 : 5-Oct-17

Employees of failed companies have been paid more than $A1bn in total from the Federal Government’s Fair Entitlements Guarantee scheme in the last five years. However, Employment Minister Michaelia Cash has announced plans for reforms which will target directors of failed companies who attempt to avoid liability for employees’ redundancy entitlements. The reforms will not apply retrospectively to companies such as Clive Palmer’s Queensland Nickel, which collapsed owing some $A70m to its workers.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF EMPLOYMENT, QUEENSLAND NICKEL PTY LTD, PPB ADVISORY, WARATAH COAL INCORPORATED, CHINA FIRST PTY LTD, ANSETT AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS LIMITED, NATIONAL TEXTILES LIMITED