The liquidator of Postie Plus' former owner reached a $550,000 settlement with the failed retailer's former logistics supplier, leaving creditor Bank of New Zealand facing a shortfall of more than $5 million.
In the final liquidators' report for Retva Ltd, the remaining shell of Postie Plus Group, PwC's David Bridgman said a "full and final" settlement was concluded in April 2016, ending proceedings brought by the retailer's secured creditor. BNZ had funded the initial legal proceedings against the third party supplier, but would have needed third party litigation funding to pursue the claim further.
"The liquidators explored funding options and took this, and a number of other factors, into account in reaching the settlement, including consideration of the merits of the claim, the time and cost of taking the matter to a full court trial and the risks associated with ongoing litigation," Bridgman said in his report.
BNZ was owed $6 million at the time of liquidation and received $298,000 as a distribution, implying it was still owed about $5.7 million. The liquidators' fees and disbursements totalled $166,000, while legal fees were $65,000.
Postie Plus appointed PwC's Bridgman and Colin McCloy as voluntary administrators in June 2014 after losing the support of its lenders when it failed to recapitalise the business.
It had been hit by supply chain disruptions in 2012 and 2013 when it outsourced its distribution centre to Kuehne + Nagel, while shifting its headquarters to Auckland. Kuehne + Nagel was never formally named as the party being pursued in the courts.
The retail business was sold as a going concern to South Africa's Pepkor for $7.1 million which more than halved BNZ's outstanding loan of $13.7 million and repaid other preferential creditors. After that, liquidators were appointed in September 2014.
PwC's Bridgman said the shortfall to BNZ as the secured creditor meant unsecured creditors owed $6.7 million were also left out of pocket.
The liquidators have requested the company be removed from the register.