Hamish Fletcher

Business reporter for the NZ Herald

Buyers in wings for failed liquor brand

A bottle of Zumwohl plum.
A bottle of Zumwohl plum.

Purchases are lining up to buy an award-winning New Zealand schnapps brand and more than ten possible buyers have made enquiries with the liquidator looking to sell it.

Aotearoa Distillers, established in 2008, made the Zumwohl brand of schnapps out of Upper Hutt and was this month put into liquidation after a petition from a Christchurch-based company.

The firm's liquidator, Robert Walker, said there had been a surge of people getting in touch who were interested in purchasing the Zumwohl brand, recipe and the remaining bottles of schnapps.

While two parties had originally expressed interest in buying the Zumwohl, following reports of the liquidation more than ten had approached the liquidators about the brand.

Zumwohl was distilled at a plant owned by a company connected to Aotearoa Distillers and Walker was now investigating to see if the facility could be sold alongside the brand and remaining stock.

Walker told the Herald last week there had been a breakdown amongst the shareholders and directors of Aotearoa Distillers before the liquidation

"What's happened here, and hopefully I'm not going to embarrass these people, but there's been a breakdown amongst shareholders [and] directors and when you get that kind [of] thing the company kind of falls by the wayside and they neglect it a bit," Walker said last Wednesday.

"The biggest creditors by miles, by a significant margin, are them. They've ploughed in hundreds of thousands of dollars ... probably near a million unfortunately."

Walker estimated other external creditors were owed about $220,000.

"Looking at what I'm going to get for the assets, there's not going to be a lot to spread around the external trade creditors," he said.

"There'll be something. If they [external creditors] get 10c in the dollar I'll be surprised."

- NZ Herald

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