The Blaxland Tavern is in the hands of liquidators, with the business being sold to pay the hundreds of thousands of dollars owed to creditors.
A partner of O’Brien Palmer Insolvency and Business Recovery, Liam Bailey, confirmed that the tavern, operated by D&S Johns Pty Ltd, is now in liquidation.
It is set to be sold within six to eight weeks, Mr Bailey, who was made the liquidator “after the company was wound up by the Australian Tax Office”, said.
About a dozen employees, including the licensee, were working hard to keep the business going prior to sale, and Mr Bailey was confident of a good sales price.
One disgruntled ex-contractor – Kye Brown from Kye Brown Entertainment – is owed $27,000.
The liquidator admitted those owed money might only receive 30 to 50 cents in the dollar “but I don’t have the books and complete records to confirm that … it is also equally possible that the dividend could exceed 50 cents in the dollar. I am unable to estimate with any accuracy the potential return to creditors until both the sale and my further investigations are completed”.
The company went into liquidation in the middle of June. Those involved in the business include director Chris Brown and shareholders Denis and Sandra Johns.
Mr Bailey said he would investigate the business and prepare a report for the Australian Securities Investment Commission after the hotel’s sale. Prosecution could follow against the director afterwards if warranted.
“We are taking the details of their [contractors] claims … and working to build a pool of assets to return… a decent sized dividend on their debts,” Mr Bailey added.
As a small business Mr Brown said he was disappointed it had reached this point.
“I'm concerned we aren't the only ones and believe people should know that there are business owners out there that … can just walk away without paying up.”
“There is a substantial amount owing and I'm told there's nothing anyone can do.
“This situation that we are in is horrible … I perform myself to help keep up with what the pubs don't pay, so I'm paying them out of my own pocket.
“I've always been music-first and cared about the talents of others and the local promotion. As a small business it's not an easy situation to be in.”
The business is being sold by broker, Denis Roast Hotels.
“Currently, I am focused on trading the business and conducting a sale for the maximum amount possible in order to maximise the return to creditors. As such, for now I am taking details of creditors’ claims and commencing a preliminary investigation into the affairs of the company,” Mr Bailey said.
He added there “was strong interest” in the sale. Expressions of interest for the acquisition of the business should contact Denis Roast at firstname.lastname@example.org.