Oceania

Bob Bangerter has been adjudicated bankrupt by a New Zealand court for the second time. Sir Robert Jones' company, Robt Jones Holding, had applied to bankrupt the Blue Chip co-founder because the company was owed $395,000 of unpaid rent for an Auckland office block where Blue Chip operated from. The 72-year-old Mr Bangerter had signed personal guarantees for the lease on the premise. Mr Bangerter was not represented in the High Court at Auckland today--his partner Maree Aitkenhead said he could not appear in court due to ill health.
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There are many small tragedies within a global disaster like this, the Business Spectator reported, and one of them is Ventracor--for years one of Australia’s leading biotech prospects. Two weeks ago, Ventracor went into voluntary administration and is now, amazingly, facing complete closure. It has no debt and a technology that works: 400 people are walking around in the United States with its artificial heart whirring in their chests.
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Investors in the failed fund management group Babcock & Brown have experienced a "terrible destruction of value'' in the wake of its collapse, the company's joint administrator said today. David Lombe, who was appointed just over a week ago as administrator, said that his team from Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu would seek to get as much back for the company's noteholders as possible following the first creditors' meeting held in Sydney today, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.
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New Zealand firm phil&teds has purchased defunct children’s buggy manufacturer Mountain Buggy, The National Business Review reported. Parent company Tritec Manufacturing--which makes the buggy--and Mountain Buggy New Zealand went into receivership at the end of January with an estimated debt of $22 million. No details on how much the company was bought for have been released. Receivers PricewaterhouseCooper have sold the business as a going concern. Chief executive Campbell Gower said “phil&teds will run the Mountain Buggy factory in New Zealand before making any decisions.
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Debt-laden Australian miner OZ Minerals slumped almost 12 percent Tuesday after the government postponed a decision on allowing a A$2.6 billion dollar ($1.8 billion) takeover by China's Minmetals, Agence France-Presse reported. The market had hoped to see the deal approved when OZ Minerals shares were suspended on the Australian Stock Exchange Monday pending an announcement, but instead the government said it would not make a decision for 90 days.
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US-based Primus Telecommunications Group, together with three affiliated holding companies, said it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy so it could undergo a restructure. The company will reduce its principal debt obligations and interest payments by more than 50 percent. The restructure will grant the company a three year extension on its debt maturities and will allow the company to continue operating as it is, The Australian reported.
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New Zealand investors have nixed Babcock & Brown’s hope of staying afloat, rejecting a restructure proposal and an 0.1% payout on their $225 million investment in Babcock subordinated notes, The National Business Review reported. Babcock is now in administration, as the vote that was to be held later today in Australia will no longer take place. Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu have been appointed as administrators. They will ask creditors to nominate a committee of representatives at the first meeting to be held on March 25.
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Personal insolvencies in New Zealand have jumped in the first full year after a simplified alternative to bankruptcy was introduced, but new restrictions may not provide much more of a barrier to people taking up the option, The National Business Review reported. "No asset procedures" or NAPs, provide a one-off chance for people with no assets to wipe off up to $40,000 in debt and emerge a year later with a clean slate to borrow again. Further restrictions on NAPs were proposed this week in a bill introduced to Parliament by Commerce Minister Simon Power.
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Edward Harman, the New Zealand man behind a string of failed investments involving a coterie of well-known business people, has been bankrupted as concerns emerge over the liquidation of his companies, The National Business Review reported. Mr Harman was declared bankrupt last week in the High Court at Auckland, as the result of a creditor’s petition. He is the director of five companies placed into voluntary liquidation last July: Fairthorne Investments, Fairthorne Trading, Fairthorne Ventures, Paeroa Investments and Wake Investments.
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