Hamish Fletcher

Business reporter for the NZ Herald

Auckland roading group owes $34m

Simon Everett, former director of Blacktop Construction. Photo/ Doug Sherring
Simon Everett, former director of Blacktop Construction. Photo/ Doug Sherring

An Auckland roading group that collapsed only days after winning an industry award has debts of $34 million, according to receivers.

Only $4.4 million of assets have been realised to meet these debts to date, say the receivers who posted their first reports to the Companies Office this week.

Blacktop Construction, a 40-year-old family owned roading business, went into receivership in early September. The company had won a Roading New Zealand Excellence Award just two days prior.

Most of Blacktop Construction's 70 staff are no longer employed by the company, while some have been retained to help with parts of the receivership.

One of the receivers, Brian Mayo-Smith of BDO, said in the report that Blacktop had "experienced increasing financial difficulties over recent years due to declining revenue and reduced contract margins".

"Despite restructuring attempts including inter alia expansion into Pacific Island contracting, significant trading losses continued to be incurred in the months prior to receivership.

The losses resulted in a substantial financial deficit which could not be funded by shareholders or other means," Mayo-Smith said.

Since being appointed, Mayo-Smith said the receivers had determined it was not viable for the New Zealand operations to keep trading.

The receivers said the company had assets with a book value of $11.6 million, based on accounts as at September 4.

A related company also in receivership, Asphalt Products, has assets with a book value of $481,000 while another, Delta Corporation, has assets worth $10.6 million.

To date, only around $4.4 million of assets from the group of companies had been realised.

Blacktop, Asphalt and Delta Corporation's debt is around $34 million, Mayo-Smith confirmed to the Herald.

Westpac, a secured creditor, is owed $12.5 million plus interest either directly or through cross guarantees.

Blacktop's employees are owed almost $525,000 while the IRD is owed around $505,000.

Blacktop owes unsecured trade creditors $11.2 million, the report said.

Mayo-Smith said in the report that this figure included "significant amounts owing in Fiji and Papua New Guinea".

"The process of realising the company's and other groups assets is not yet complete and therefore it is too early to determine with any certainty whether there are likely to be any funds available for unsecured creditors," he said.

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf01 at 22 Oct 2014 17:56:25 Processing Time: 446ms