Maclean Computing owes $3m
Subscribe now for $100 (23 issues) and save more than 37% off the cover price!
Get the latest news from Computerworld delivered via email.
Sign up now
Following the demise of Maclean Computing a liquidator’s report released last night shows the Auckland-based IT company owed creditors more than $3 milion.
According to an “Estimated State of Affairs” prepared by Waterstone Insolvency, Maclean’s liabilities include $1,072,000 owed to preferential creditors, $1,050,000 to secured creditors and $930,000 to unsecured creditors.
Waterstone says Maclean’s known creditors include big players such as Gen-i, ANZ and IBM as well as smaller organisations such as Alzheimer Auckland.
At the time of liquidation, Maclean’s total assets were estimated to be worth $1,130,000.
Waterstone says an official audit has not been conducted into the accuracy of Maclean’s accounts.
In liquidation cases the Inland Revenue, secured creditors and employees are the first to be paid out.
Computerworld sought comment from the liquidator whether Maclean Computing CEO Chris Maclean is among the secured creditors.
Waterstone general manager Steven Khov replied that "Chris in his personal capacity would be an unsecured creditor."
Maclean Computing was put into liquidation on July 13. Chris Maclean, son of founder Allan Maclean, claims the liquidation occured as a result of a theft from the company by a former financial controller.
The liquidators simply state that Maclean was “unable to pay its debts as they fell due,” which is the legal definition of insolvency.
On July 18 Chris Maclean announced that he and a business partner had purchased the assets of Maclean Computing from Waterstone. The new company is named Maclean Technology Ltd.
Waterstone liquidator Damien Grant said a competitive sales process for the assets took place over five days, but wouldn’t say how many bids were in the running, or what was paid for the assets.
When asked if the sale was in keeping with the ‘Phoenix Law’, or sections 386A-F of the Companies Act (which govern whether the assets of a company in liquidation can be bought by affiliated parties), Grant replied: “I hope it would be, otherwise I’m going to prison.”
He says the process was hastened by publicity that the liquidation received on the Computerworld website, including an article about competitor Code Blue making a play for Maclean Computing's customers.
Some of the prominent Maclean creditors:
- Alzheimers Auckland
- ANZ National Bank
- BDO Spicer
- Citrix Asia Pacific
- Hayes Knight
- Ice House
- Ingram Micro
- Mako Networks
- Mercury Energy
- PB Tech
- Southern Cross Healthcare
- Telecom / Telecom Rentals
- World Exchange
- Young & Shand
However with full intention to pay creditors a percentage of original debt from within the phoenix company as well as with the real market value of the sale and promise to pay from future MTL business.
It's not an ideal situation however I am sure at this stage creditors would rather have been given the option to get some money instead of nothing.
Directors carrying on illegitimate phoenix arrangements also run the risk of breaching s 380 law. This section provides that if a director knowingly carries on business with intent to defraud creditors they are liable to the penalties set out in s 373(4).
The director knowingly according to the companies office website on the 6th of July transferred his shares from his name to the two new directors of the Phoenix company and his directorship ceased.
The liquidated company went into liquidation two weeks after this event.
The liquidators don't have to call a creditors meeting, however due to the nature of the sale should have certainly considered this option seriously. I would have.
1. Was market value paid for by the bidder, therefore reducing the impact to the creditors ?
2. Has the liquidator fully investigated the conduct of the shareholders and directors ?
3. Liquidation on a Friday night and the new Phoenix rises from the ashes by Tuesday
$500 000 fraud by previous employee, is PROFIT stolen which could have been used to generate siginificantly more and could have possibly been the downfall here.
Was this over a period of time and if so then relaxed company policies allowed it to happen.
My thoughts are with the creditors and with the shareholders and directors. It's not a nice position to be in, regardless what side of the fence anyone is on here.
Posted by Rosco at 1:46:13 on July 21, 2012
Posted by Anonymous at 0:49:34 on July 21, 2012
Fact 1 - Year 1 when Chris arrived resulted in around 50% turnover of staff. Recruitment numbers were excessive every year since costing hundreds of thousands of dollars more over Chris's tenureship.
Fact 2 - Decisions like the North Shore office costs tens of thousands of dollars and was Chris's idea
Fact 3 - The building, need I say more?
Fact 4 - Pesky staff disputes over unfair dismissals distracted MCL execs for long periods
Fact 5 - ATL and Wellington, not good decisions
Fact 6 - Buying BITS!!!!
Fact 7 - Making loyal (years of service prior to his arrival), profitable, popular staff redundant for, well, nobody could work it out at the time.
Fact 8 - Yes, they were ripped off and it wasn't nice and GJ (I hope you are reading this) you should be ashamed of yourself every time you look in a mirror!!
Fact 9 - Under PK's financial guidance the company grew from around 10 to around 50 employees and was very successful, a trend that existed for around 8 years I believe (his stay at MCL)
Fact 10 - Yes, the IT industry changed, so maybe Chris just got it wrong or more frustrating just couldn't get it quite right.
Fact 11 - A whole bunch of people with flash titles and salaries to match where appointed, ever increasing the overheads.
The above goes a long way to explain some of the numbers
As you can tell, I've given this some thought and it all comes down to accountability, which in turn can be legal or moral. Chris may have addressed his legal accountability, let's see if his customers feel he has addressed his moral accountability.
Posted by Deaf Ears at 22:53:29 on July 20, 2012
Posted by Spot on at 0:28:20 on July 21, 2012
Posted by Anonymous at 19:30:05 on July 20, 2012
Posted by S Rowe at 18:33:46 on July 20, 2012
Posted by Anonymous at 18:07:55 on July 20, 2012
Posted by Social Commentator at 18:18:37 on July 20, 2012
Posted by The threat is not being paid at 18:16:07 on July 20, 2012
Posted by D at 17:34:32 on July 20, 2012