Key deadline for Veritas on future of Nosh supermarkets looms

By Rebecca Howard

Veritas has until Jan 15 to deliver either an unconditional contract or closedown proposal for the sale of Nosh.
Veritas has until Jan 15 to deliver either an unconditional contract or closedown proposal for the sale of Nosh.

Auckland-based Veritas Investments said on Friday it is still working through the process ahead of a deadline to present a plan for its unprofitable Nosh supermarket business to ANZ Bank New Zealand.

In mid-December the company, which also owns the Mad Butcher franchise, said it had until Jan. 15 to deliver either an unconditional contract for the sale of Nosh Group, or a proposal to close and wind it down to its lender.

At the time, it said the sale or closure of the loss-making Nosh business would result in non-cash asset write-downs and one-off expenditure related to the sale or closure but provided no further details.

On Friday, chairman Tim Cook said he had no comment other than "we are working through the process."

ANZ was not immediately available for comment.

Veritas took on a $5 million funding line with ANZ to buy the Nosh stores in 2014, but has struggled to turn the gourmet supermarkets into a profitable business.

The food and beverage investor renegotiated its banking arrangements in October to reduce its repayments and reschedule its debt, as its Mad Butcher and Nosh businesses weighed on the group.

Shares were unchanged Friday at 20 cents. They've fallen 60 per cent since this time a year ago.

- BusinessDesk

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