A company that until recently owned the Whale Oil blog owes creditors at least $670,986, liquidator Victoria Toon of Corporate Restructuring says in her first report.

Social Media Consultants was put into voluntary liquidation on Monday.

Whale Oil founder Cameron Slater owned Social Media Consultants until last month, when he transferred his shares to his wife Juana Atkins.

At the same time, a new company was set up called Wobh Ltd, with Atkins as the sole shareholder, on February 13.

Advertisement

Slater declared bankruptcy on February 27, saying a stroke had left him debilitated and unable to work on his blog.

In her report, Toon - who could not be immediately reached for comment - says Social Media Consultants has $856 cash in the bank.

"The value of the business lies in the brand "Whale Oil", the associated blog and the domain name [website address]," she writes.

However, it is not clear at this point whether Social Media Consultants or the new Wobh Ltd own any intangibles.

They were not listed on Social Media Consultants financial records, and were transferred to other companies prior to the liquidation (Atkins is also now the sole shareholder in a number of other companies set up by the couple, including Frog Rock Management and The Whale Meat Company).

Toon says she has been advised that the blog is being maintained by volunteers in the interim. It has more than 300 paid subscribers, she says.

The liquidator says she has already fielded several offers for the blog.

However, ownership and valuation issues have to be resolved before the site can be sold, she says.

Advertisement

At this stage, Toon says she doesn't have enough information to say if creditors are likely to be paid.

Those owed money include former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig, who took a successful defamation case against Slater and businessman Matthew Blomfield, who was embroiled in legal action against the Whale Oil blogger (ultimately in Blomfield's favour) between 2002 and February this year - making it New Zealand's longest-running defamation case.

Other creditors include Spark, Vodafone, Voyager, ACC, IRD and Brian Henry's Chambers.