Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Cedenco liquidators raise judge's ire using NZ data in Oz

Cedenco liquidators raise judge's ire for using NZ data in Australian wind-up

By Paul McBeth

Nov. 27 (BusinessDesk) - The firm hired for separate liquidations of the Cedenco group of companies in Australia and New Zealand has been ticked off by the High Court for using information gained during the New Zealand administration in its work across the Tasman.

In the High Court in Auckland, Justice Paul Heath took a dim view of the Cedenco liquidators' use of a transcript interview with ANZ New Zealand relationship manager Kate Dekker for its Australian liquidation before getting her approval, according to a Nov. 15 judgment.

John Sheahan and Ian Lock of Sheahan Lock were appointed liquidators for both the Australian and New Zealand wind-ups, and were seeking retrospective approval from the court for their use of the transcript in Australia.

"Because Messrs Sheahan and Lock hold office as both Australian and New Zealand liquidators, they cannot, as Australian liquidators, assert that they did not know what they were doing, as New Zealand liquidators," the judge said. "In effect, they (as Australian liquidators) were parties to the misconduct of the New Zealand liquidators."

Justice Heath refused to give retrospective approval for sharing the material and urged the liquidators to disclose what has happened to the Australian Federal Court to seek orders on further use of the transcript.

"It is also open to ANZ NZ or Ms Dekker, in light of what I have said in this judgment, to apply to the Federal Court for such an order as they might think appropriate to forbid or limit the ability of any other person to inspect (or otherwise use) the transcript," he said.

ANZ Bank pulled the pin on Cedenco in 2009, appointing receivers when it breached an earnings covenant. The following year the Australian receivers sold those businesses for A$93 million to Japan's Kargomi, satisfying all creditors, while the New Zealand units were sold to Japan's Imanaki for $29.5 million, which also left a surplus.

Sheahan Lock were appointed liquidators to deal with the residue.

The firm did gain some ground as Justice Heath backed the $2.39 million in fees and expenses charged by the liquidators, turning down ANZ's assertion it had overcharged for its services to such an extent as to amount to misconduct.

The judge said it would take an extreme case where a liquidator's misconduct stepped on the rights of creditors where "there would be jurisdiction to exercise a discretion for the remuneration or expenses to be paid personally by a liquidator."

Justice Heath agreed with the liquidator's counsel that "'it is officious and an abuse of process' for ANZ NZ to attempt to put improper pressure on the liquidators by suggesting they have overcharged."

The liquidators were unsuccessful in their bid to obtain bank documents and another interview with ANZ's Dekker for the New Zealand administration, with the judge saying it would be "oppressive" to her and that the attempt to re-examine her "can, in my view, fairly be characterised as being for an ulterior purpose."

The judge adjourned an application for her to be examined by the Australian administration saying the liquidators can either file expert evidence on the point or seek a Federal Court direction under Australian law.

In an Aug. 14 update, Sheahan and Lock said they have paid out $3.03 million to unsecured creditors.

Creditors will be entitled to post-liquidation interest claims if there's sufficient surplus once the liquidators have wrapped up the residual matters.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Must Sell 20 Petrol Stations: Z Cleared To Buy Caltex Assets

Z Energy is allowed to buy the Caltex and Challenge! petrol station chains but must sell 19 of its retail sites and one truck-stop, the Commerce Commission has ruled in a split decision that acknowledges possible retail price coordination between fuel retailers occurs in some regions. More>>

ALSO:

Huntly: Genesis Extends Life Of Coal-Fuelled Power Station To 2022

Genesis Energy will keep its two coal and gas-fired units at Huntly Power Station operating until 2022, having previously said they'd be closed by 2018, after wringing a high price from other electricity generators who wanted to keep them as back-up. More>>

ALSO:

Dammed If You Do: Ruataniwha Irrigation Scheme Hits Farmer Uptake Targets

Enough Hawke's Bay farmers have signed up for water from the proposed Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme for it to go ahead as long as a cornerstone institutional capital investor can be found to back it, its regional council promoter announced. More>>

ALSO:

Reserve Bank: OCR Stays At 2.25%

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 2.25 percent, in a decision traders had said could go either way, while predicting inflation will pick up as the slump in oil prices washes out of the data and capacity pressures start to build in the economy. More>>

ALSO:

Export Values Down: NZ Posts Biggest Annual Trade Deficit In 7 Years

New Zealand has recorded its biggest annual trade deficit since April 2009, reflecting weaker prices of agricultural commodities such as dairy products, beef and lamb, and increased imports of vehicles and machinery. More>>

ALSO:

Currency Events: NZ's New $5 Note Wins International Banknote Award

New Zealand’s new Brighter Money $5 note has been named Banknote of the Year in a prestigious international competition. The $5 note was awarded the IBNS Banknote of the Year title at the International Bank Note Society’s annual meeting. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news