Hydroworks creditors face $12.6m shortfall, liquidators say

Unpaid creditors of Hydroworks face a $12.6 million shortfall with the liquidators of the failed hydroelectric turbine maker finding the firm had little in the way of its own intellectual property.

Interim liquidators were appointed to the Christchurch-based company in August by cornerstone shareholder Powerhouse Ventures after the board walked out. Liquidators David Webb and David Vance of Deloitte were later appointed in October and since then have been assessing the value of the business as they look to start selling assets.

"We were informed that all employees were told not to turn up to work by company management after learning of our appointment as interim liquidators the day before," the liquidators said in their first report. "Without sufficient working capital funding and facing staffing difficulties, we were left with no option but to cease trading immediately and terminated the employment of all staff."

While the liquidators went through the remaining assets to see what value was left in the business, they found Hydroworks held intellectual property belonging to its customers, which the liquidators located, extracted and returned.

"During this information review process, it also became apparent to the liquidators that the company in its own right owned very limited intellectual property available to be realised during the liquidation," Webb and Vance said.

The liquidators didn't disclose the value of any property plant or equipment, but noted the majority of assets were leased by the firm. With $381,000 owed to preferential creditors, $5.1 million to secured creditors, and another $7.6 million to unsecured creditors, the liquidators estimated a shortfall of $12.6 million.

ASX-listed Powerhouse owned 24 percent of the hydroelectric turbine designer and had been weighing up options to restore administration control to Hydroworks before seeking a court order to install interim liquidators. The company's shares last traded at 35 Australian cents, having more than halved so far this year.


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