Liquidator owes $908,000 and expects clothing store staff to be paid

Camerons clothing store in Stafford St will close on Tuesday after almost 100 years in business.

DOUGLAS SAIL / Tips

Camerons clothing store in Stafford St will close on Tuesday after almost 100 years in business.

The liquidator overseeing the closure of a long-standing business in South Canterbury says he believes staff will get what they are owed, but the news is not so good for unsecured creditors.

In its first report, Dunedin-based liquidator Iain Nellies of Insolvency Management Ltd says Camerons Clothing Limited owes $908,000 to secured and unsecured creditors in New Zealand and Australia.

The company went into voluntary liquidation on March 25, with its four stores in Timaru, Waimate and Oamaru closed by the liquidator on Tuesday.

There are 14 known secured creditors, 11 known preferred creditors – who are listed in the report as staff members, and 67 known unsecured creditors.

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The total amount belonging to creditors is $908,000. Of this amount, $663,475 is owed to secured creditors, $55,486 to preferred creditors and $189,403 to unsecured creditors. The total value of the stock is not yet known, but an inventory has been organised. The company has $36,865 in overdue accounts and $5,000 in factories.

Secured creditors and all preferred creditors, which include employees, certain IRD receivables and hire-purchase agreements, must be paid first.

“I would expect all staff to be given full rights,” Nellies said on Sunday.

“Based on the information currently available to the liquidator, it appears unlikely that there will be funds for a dividend to unsecured creditors.”

However, he said that position could not be confirmed until the company’s records were reviewed and investigations were completed.

Shoppers lined up for a bargain in the final days before Camerons Clothing Limited-owned retail stores closed.

JOHN BISSET/Stuff

Shoppers lined up for a bargain in the final days before Camerons Clothing Limited-owned retail stores closed.

Secured creditors include Bank of New Zealand, Swanndri, Rip Curl, Augustine and Adidas NZ and Timaru CW Cameron Limited and Heartland Technology. Unsecured creditors include Hills Hats, Home-Lee, Levi Strauss NZ, NZ Post and Timaru Corporate Print companies, Dowells Office Supplies, Screw U Poles, Post Hast, Perpetual Guardian, SPF Websites and Multimedia and Target Apparelmaster.

A review of company records will be undertaken to establish whether there are any assets that have not been disclosed, or actions that liquidators might take to recover funds to pay creditors, he said.

“The liquidator is aware of various stocks of factories, equipment and vehicles belonging to the company (all subject to general and specific security).

He confirmed that all these assets were “under the control of the liquidator and are being monitored”.

Nellies said the company’s directors, Warren Park and Wendy Collings, attributed the company’s insolvency to the effects of Covid-19 on commerce and changing public buying habits.

JOHN BISSET/STUFF

Maureen and Andy Scott have been shopping at Camerons for over 63 years.

Nellies said he expects the liquidation to be completed by December 23, 2022.

“It can be fast or much longer. Every liquidation is different. I hope to have this one for Christmas.

The liquidator has asked any creditor who would like to assert the assets of the company to inform him before April 11, 2022.

The next liquidator’s report is expected on September 25.

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