Allans Music Group
As a result of declining business, Allans Music Group (AMG), an iconic Australian brand and previously one of the largest music retailers in the country, was placed into receivership. In a complex and time-critical transaction, we helped Revere Capital successfully acquire AMG's secured lending position and enforce its security against the assets of AMG. We also advised Ferrier Hodgson, the receivers appointed by Revere Capital over the assets of AMG. We then helped the receivers to complete a distressed asset sale to another music industry participant, resulting in the rescue of several major AMG stores.
We acted for the major secured creditor of the Rosella Group. The collapse of the legendary tomato sauce brand Rosella (established in 1895) made headlines across Australia and New Zealand. We also acted for Ferrier Hodgson, the receivers appointed over the assets of the group, and Deloitte, the voluntary administrators appointed to each of the entities.
Borders, Angus & Robertson and Whitcoulls
The collapse of Australia's largest booksellers, the REDgroup Retail group of companies, sent shockwaves through an already challenged retail sector, impelled a flurry of media commentary on the challenges "traditional" Australian retail operations face from online retailing and shone a spotlight on the Federal Government's protective practices. At its height, REDgroup operated 260 stores including the iconic 125 year old Angus & Robertson chain in Australia and Whitcoulls stores in New Zealand, as well as the Borders stores in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. Angus & Robertson also operated approximately 50 franchised stores. Pre-collapse, the group employed approximately 3,500 staff.
We acted for the voluntary administrators of REDgroup on all issues resulting from the collapse, including trade on of the business, the sale of the Whitcoulls business, a high profile "break-away" franchisee dispute and multiple distressed asset sales as the various parts of the REDgroup business were rationalised and sold to other leading Australian retail organisations as well as on a deed of company arrangement.
Collapse of Lehman Brothers
Described as the largest corporate collapse in US history, the abrupt demise of the Lehman Brothers investment bank in September 2008 sparked the biggest shake-up on Wall Street in decades with global share markets falling sharply as a result of the financial turmoil.
Clayton Utz was appointed to act for the voluntary administrators of the Lehman Brothers Australia group, now the liquidators.
More recently, we have helped the liquidators achieve a number of successes such as obtaining approval of a scheme of arrangement, which secured significant insurance settlements, and developing and implementing a claims resolution process for 350 client creditors with claims of $450 million.
Liquidation of the Octaviar group of companies
The Public Trustee of Queensland is the largest public trustee in Australia and a major creditor of the Octaviar (formerly MFS) group of companies. The Octaviar group owed approximately $2.4 billion to creditors, of which about $360 million was owed to the Public Trustee. We acted on behalf of the Public Trustee in proceedings to successfully set aside deeds of company arrangement and replace the then liquidators. The matter involved the spectrum of steps in an insolvency, from an informal workout to administration, deed administration then liquidation.
Major superannuation fraud
Described as Australia's largest ever superannuation fraud, the collapse of Trio Capital Ltd generated enormous concern for investors and financial advisers due to its fund value of $300 million and sparked a Parliamentary Inquiry into the reasons for its collapse.
We act for the replacement trustee appointed by the Australian regulator to manage, investigate and work out five significantly impaired superannuation funds and advise on issues concerning corporations, superannuation and trustee legislation.
Administration of established manufacturing group
Custom Coaches is one of Australia’s most established bus manufacturers specialising in the design, development and manufacture of city and school buses with Australian State Governments and bus route operators as their customers.
We acted for Deloitte, the voluntary administrators and now liquidators, in the undertaking of an urgent sale and marketing campaign to preserve the value of the business. A going concern sale was completed in under three months, saving approximately 120 jobs and reducing claims to $5.61m from $12.46m. $2m was returned to the secured creditor and $1.18m to eligible priority unsecured creditors, trading with suppliers continued and warranty obligations were upheld. The total assets available to all creditors was forecast at $11.17m compared with $5.571m had the business been immediately closed and liquidated.