Father's failed Maclean Computing reborn as son's Maclean Technology in largest 'Phoenix' sale
UPDATE / July 20: The first liquidator's report has revealed failed Maclean Computers owed more than $3 million.
The company had a $1.07 million liability to preferential creditors (staff and IRD), $1.05 million to secured creditor ANZ and $930,000 to unsecured creditors.
Assets of $1.13 million are listed.
The IT services company's 91 creditors include ANZ, IRD and a roll call of tech firms that includes CallPlus, Cyclone, IBM, PB Technologies, Renaissance and various Telecom divisions including Gen-i.
The list also includes accounting company Hayes Knight. Haynes Knight director Matt Bellingham is a shareholder in the new Maclean Technology.
The report says a decision was made to despense with a creditor's meeting as their were no known issues.
Earlier, reciever Damien Grant, of Waterstone Insolvency, told NBR ONLINE that creditors were consulted over the sale of Maclean Computers' assets to the new Maclean Technlogy.
Creditors' approval was needed as a condition of Section 386D of the Companies Act – the so-called "Phoenix law" that allows for a liquidator to sell a business to a related party to the old company under specific criteria.
The report notes that secured creditor IRD, owed around $300,000, will likely make a claim for outstanding GST and PAYE.
It also anticipates preferential claims from former employees for outstanding pay and holiday pay (Maclean Computing employed 50; CEO Chris Maclean did not reply to a query about how many people will be employed by Maclean Technology).
At present it is "unknown" whether unsecured creditors will receive any payout.
RAW DATA: Read the full liquidator's report (PDF)
July 18: The assets of Allan Maclean's Maclean Computing, which went into liquidation on Friday, have been bought by Maclean Technology, a new company set up by his son Chris Maclean and Hayes Knight director Matt Bellingham.
Receiver Damien Grant, of Waterstone Insolvency told NBR ONLINE the deal was done pursuant to Section 386D of the Companies Act – the so-called "Phoenix law" that allows for a liquidator to sell a business to a related party to the old company under specific criteria, which were met in this case.
Mr Grant was certain it was the largest "Phoenix sale" since the law came into effect in November 2007.
IT services company Maclean Computing was founded in 2003. Its current roster of clients includes Hyundai, Pharmacy Brands and Halls Transport. It claimed 50 staff servicing 200 customers.
CEO Chris Maclean told NBR the pressure of the recession was exacerbated after its financial controller, charged in May this year, allegedly stole $500,000.
"Debts mounted and it all came to a head last week," Mr Maclean said, who took over day-to-day running of the company from his father – a high-profile figure in the IT industry – in 2009, in the teeth of the GFC.
The sale had proceeded at pace as rivals, including Code Blue, circled Maclean clients and attempted to poach clients (with gallows humour, Code Blue dressed up the process as an assistance effort).
NBR understands Maclean Computing owed around $2 million to IRD, banks and creditors, and had assets of around the same value.
Secured creditor IRD was owed at least $300,000.
Maclean Technology has a clean slate, free of debt.
Neither the receiver nor Mr Maclean would comment on the value of the Phoenix sale. Mr Maclean did say that he and Mr Bellingham had chipped in equity. Mr Bellingham had also been instrumental in helping to put the bid together.
Mr Grant did say it was enough to satisfy creditors, who were consulted during the sale process, and whose approval was required under the "Phoenix" law.
Chris Maclean told NBR that as well as the need to satisfy creditors, it was a competitive bidding situation.
"There were other parties interested in the business, but unfortunately, due to the time pressures, the liquidator were unable to seriously entertain any other offers," Mr Grant told NBR.