Jasons Travel asks bank to appoint receiver

Jasons Travel has advised lenders there is little sign of reprieve.
Jasons Travel has advised lenders there is little sign of reprieve.

NZAX-listed Jasons Travel Media, the travel and accommodation guide publisher once led by Cabinet Minister Steven Joyce, has told its lenders to appoint a receiver as the company's financial position deteriorates with little sign of reprieve.

Jasons Travel was in talks with its lenders earlier this year after breaching its banking covenants, and secured an extension on its loan at the end of May while making a commitment to raise at least $1 million by the end of October to repay debt. Its $650,000 overdraft limit was also to have been cut to $100,000 by Nov. 29. The company owed about $3.38 million as at March 31.

"Given the rapidly deteriorating financial position of the company, the unlikely prospects of a recovery in the short term, and the consequential need to protect creditors and preserve the assets of the company, the board has asked the ANZ Bank to appoint a receiver," chairman and founder John Sandford said in a statement yesterday.

Yesterday's notice came within 30 minutes of a public censure of the company by the NZ Markets Disciplinary Tribunal after an unexpected exit by one of its directors left it in breach of listing rules, and it failed to tell the NZX it was struggling to find a replacement. The NZAX-listed company was fined $6,000, plus costs.

Jasons Travel has been hit by the downturn in tourist numbers as the strength of the Australasian currencies and high cost of long-haul flights affected the appeal of a holiday in the South Pacific, and lost key executives this year as it struggled to keep its head above water.

The shares dropped 1 cent to 10 cents in trading yesterday, valuing the company at about $1.98 million.

- BusinessDesk

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