Mad Butcher Glen Innes is the latest store in the butcher chain to be liquidated, joining a now ever-growing list of fallen franchisees.

D&V Walden Limited, trading as Mad Butcher Glen Innes in Auckland, was placed into liquidation on Monday with Peter Jollands of Jollands Callander appointed liquidator.

The company is owned and directed by Damian Walden, according to Companies Office records.

Jollands would not answer the Herald's questions this morning.


The liquidator's first report, outlining what creditors are owed, will be released to the Companies Office in six months' time.

The Herald understands Jollands is also the liquidator for a number of other Mad Butcher franchisees.

The Mad Butcher franchise, which was previously owned by NZX-listed Veritas, is joint-owned by Michael Morton and partner Julie Leitch, the daughter of original founder Sir Peter Leitch.

The pair bought back the business from Veritas for $8 million in July last year for a quarter of the $40m the company purchased it for in 2013.

Mad Butcher store numbers have dramatically decreased, with around 16 store closures in the past few years. About 23 stores make up the Mad Butcher chain today. In its heyday, the butcher chain had 40 stores throughout the country.

Last month the former owner of the Whangarei Mad Butcher was in the Auckland High Court defending an injunction order by Mad Butcher Holdings following the end of his contract with the meat business.

Mad Butcher claimed Robert Wightman breached the conditions of his restraint of trade after he opened his own independent butcher shop called The Meat Man on the same site as the previous branded store.

Mad Butcher has since won an interim injunction against the former franchisee and is entitled to costs and reasonable disbursements, conditional on it providing security.


During the hearing, defence lawyer Mark O'Brien told the court Wightman did not breach terms in his franchise agreement as the purpose of the clause was to restrict trade of competition - he argued there was no competition as Mad Butcher had not secured a new franchisee or new premise to operate a store in the area.

Mad Butcher's lawyer Stephen Hunter disputed this, saying the franchise had plans to launch a home-delivery business in Whangarei.

In a decision, Justice Ian Gault said he did not accept the claim of having no competition to interfere with.

"While it may have been slow taking steps to re-establish a branded store in Whangarei, it has not delayed in enforcing its contractual position as soon as it knew that the defendants intended to operate an independent butchery," Gault said.

"For these reasons I conclude that the balance of convenience and overall justice
favour interim relief."

During the trial, Gault heard Wightman had concerns about the financial performance of his business and that he asked for help but received no assistance from Mad Butcher.

Wightman said an injunction would "kill" his business. He seeks leave to appeal the High Court decision.