Hastie's NZ companies not in receivership - jobs safe for now
Despite the collapse of Australian engineering company Hastie Group, the receivers say its New Zealand operations are running as usual.
Hastie Group yesterday announced its 44 Australian subsidiary companies had been placed in voluntary administration.
The company is Australia's biggest provider of air conditioning and refrigeration in hospitals.
It has operations in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdon, Ireland and the Middle East and has nearly 7000 staff worldwide.
It employs about 500 people in New Zealand through local subsidiaries, and was founded in 2001 when it won the contract to provide mechanical services installation at Auckland Hospital.
The company has also been involved in the Auckland war memorial museum, SkyCity convention centre and grand hotel, the Auckland University business school and the Tauranga Hospital redevelopment.
Hastie Group's New Zealand companies include Hastie New Zealand, Aquaheat Industries, Professional Building Services, Medical Gas services, Cowley Refrigeration, Gordon Refrigeration and Project Piping Ltd.
Andrew Grenfell, partner at receiver McGrath Nicoll, told NBR ONLINE the New Zealand companies are not in receivership.
He says only the holding company is in receivership, which "has no employees, no operations. All it does is hold the shares of those companies that operate in New Zealand".
Mr Grenfell says it is not clear what will happen to the New Zealand companies.
"Over time, when the Australian receivers look to do a sale process they may be wrapped into that."
Hastie Group has been embroiled in a scandal involving a $20 million accounting irregularity in its accounts dating back to 2008-09.
The issue has been referred to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission.
The group reported a loss of $A149 million in the six months ended December 31 after writing down its goodwill, brand and land value by $A37.3 million.
The accounting discrepancy appeared to have come from "the deliberate actions of a current employee (on suspension) and that potentially some current and former senior management may have participated," Hasties said in a statement last week.
Trading in the shares was halted last month with the stock at 16 Australian cents, valuing the company at $A22 million, having plunged from $A8.25 apiece in February last year.