Oceania

Administrators have moved to sell assets owned by companies belonging to federal MP Clive Palmer, including a Bombardier Global Express aircraft that is the property of Palmer Aviation, which owes $26 million, ABC News reported. Creditors of Mr Palmer's aviation company met yesterday in Sydney and decided to put it into liquidation. Liquidators FTI Consulting said the process would start in March. "At that meeting, creditors resolved to place the company into liquidation, with FTI Consulting to act as liquidators," an FTI statement confirmed.
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The Australian law firm that snapped up the bulk of scandal-hit insurance claims company Quindell has been forced into restructuring talks amid concerns over the deteriorating state of its finances, The Telegraph reported. Lenders to Slater & Gordon, Australia’s largest class-action law firm, have hired turnaround experts FTI Consulting in the UK as its problems mount following the company’s shock takeover of Quindell’s legal arm last year.
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Dick Smith chief executive Nick Abboud has resigned a week after the failed Australian electronics retailer went into receivership with debt of A$390 million ($272.61 million), its receivers said on Tuesday, Reuters reported. Don Grover has been appointed interim CEO, receivers Ferrier Hodgson said in a statement. Gover was formerly CEO of Retail Fusion brands and has more than 30 years experience in the industry. The receivers also launched advertisements on Tuesday seeking expressions of interest for the sale of the Dick Smith and Move businesses.
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Clive Palmer has lashed out at the Queensland government for refusing to support his struggling Yabulu nickel refinery, as reports emerge that insolvency experts have been called in, The Guardian reported. Palmer released a statement saying the government’s recent refusal to assist Queensland Nickel by guaranteeing a $35m loan was making it “near impossible” to compete in the international marketplace.
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ASX-listed coal seam gas (CSG) drilling contractor, Titan Energy Services Ltd, has become the latest victim of the commodity downturn, being placed into voluntary administration, according to a company statement. In its 2015 annual financial statements, the group said its ability to continue in business depended on several factors, including the ability to win new work and raise additional funds.
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Dick Smith Goes Into Receivership

Electronics retailer Dick Smith has been put into receivership after its banks refused to keep propping it up following poor sales. The company, which has nearly 400 stores in Australia and New Zealand, said in August it was carrying too much of the wrong type of goods and that, combined with soft consumer demand, meant it was being forced to cut its margins to keep afloat. Since then it has twice warned that it wouldn't make its earnings forecasts - it slashed prices and had big pre-Christmas bargain sales.
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Australian tax authorities on Thursday published the records of hundreds of companies, including Google and Apple, which show that they paid little or no tax on their earnings in the country, the International New York Times reported. Of more than 1,500 largely foreign-owned companies that reported total earnings over 100 million Australian dollars ($72.11 million) in the 2014 financial year, more than one-third paid no tax, the Australian Taxation Office data showed.
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Last week the Australian Securities and Investments Commission fired a shot across the bows of insolvency companies, The Weekly Times reported. In forcing Tony Matthews, of ­Anthony Matthews and Associates, into an “enforceable undertaking” ­arrangement, ASIC has effectively placed all insolvency practitioners on notice that creditors have every right to expect prompt, efficient, diligent and judicious action in relation to companies in financial strife.
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The government has argued that the recommendations made by the Productivy Commission to change insolvency laws will foster more entrepreneurship and aid innovation, SkyNews.com.au reported. The default bankruptcy period will be reduced from three years to one while a safe harbour will protect directors from personal liability for insolvent trading if they appoint a professional restructuring adviser to develop a plan to turnaround a company in financial difficulty.
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