Masterton motel company folds owing $3m

By Amie Hickland

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Receivers hope to find a buyer for Masterton's Gateway Motor Inn after the company behind it went into receivership and liquidation, owing more than $3 million.

Gateway Motor Inn Wairarapa Ltd was placed in receivership and liquidation in September, with the liquidator's first report detailing debts totalling $3.08 million.

Company director Deane Fuller did not want to comment to the Times-Age.

John Fisk and Colin McCloy, partners at PricewaterhouseCoopers, were appointed receivers on September 21 by creditor the Bank of New Zealand.

"The receivership came about due to the appointment of an interim liquidator to Gateway on 18 September," said Mr Fisk.

Murray Allot was appointed by the High Court in Masterton as interim liquidator on September 18, and liquidator Bruce McCullough was appointed by shareholders on September 20.

Mr Fisk said receivers would try to find a buyer: "We have assessed the financial position of Gateway and decided that the business has best value being sold as a going concern."

The business would be placed on the market soon and for now it would be "business as usual", he said. All staff - two full-timers and five part-timers - had been retained.

"Until we have completed the sales process, the final position for creditors is unknown."

Mr Fisk said there had been an attempt to sell the company assets to a related company but the sale had been deemed invalid.

Mr McCullough's first liquidator's report, dated September 26, said debts included $2.9 million owed to the Bank of New Zealand, $24,000 to Blackguard Finance and $90,000 to Elma Jean Snelling. Secured creditors were owed $2.9 million and unsecured $114,000.

Mr McCullough said the liquidator would step in once the receivers finished their work.

- WAIRARAPA TIMES-AGE

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