Australian Bight Abalone enters voluntary administration

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 2nd July 2009

The Directors of the Australian Bight Abalone Group (ABA) today placed the company into voluntary administration.

McGrath Nicol will be responsible for the administration.

ABA said the issues surrounding the industry, including the failure of two of the largest companies in the sector, deteriorating general business conditions, the last minute withdrawal of financiers from the grower loan funding market and the subsequent reduction in investment, had been the decisive factors in taking the decision to move into voluntary administration.

“The issues surrounding Great Southern and Timbercorp have affected the entire industry,” Sir Tipene O’Regan, the ABA group’s independent Chairman, explained. “The board does not have faith in the tax effective MIS model of fundraising going forward. Our investment inflows for this year were down 77.6% from last year and 86.7% on our expectations.”

“Whilst we could have drawn down on funds raised this year to continue operations we did not think that to do so would be in the best interest of those 2009 applicants, accordingly we have arranged to reimburse all of the 2009 application monies.”

CEO Andrew Ferguson advised that the company would continue trading while an acquirer was sought. “I fully understand and respect the board’s decision not to open the
2009 project. Along with the senior staff I will be working with our stakeholders and the administrators with the aim of allowing the group to continue trading while a sale of the business is investigated,” he said.

The ABA Group is Australia’s largest offshore abalone operation.