A discount retail chain and its main supplier, a related entity, have been placed into receivership following a dispute between shareholders.
Price Wise Limited, trading as Pricewise with 16 stores nationwide, and distributor, Zenith Distribution Limited, were placed into receivership on Friday.
Founded by Andrew Berryman and his wife Gill, the pair had their employment with Price Wise terminated when Khov Jones was appointed receiver.
Price Wise Ltd and Zenith Distribution Ltd, which imports and wholesales beauty and personal care products, together turn over about $12 million each year.
Khov Jones director Steven Khov said receivers were appointed by one of the companies' shareholders - Colin Neal of Polar Capital - the new owner of electronics chain Smiths City.
The issues between Polar Capital and Berryman stemmed from a disagreement over how the business was being run, Khov said.
"Andrew Berryman and his wife Gill had their employment terminated immediately by the receivers so they are no longer involved in the business. They were removed from the business on Friday with the assistance of the appropriate authorities," Khov told the Herald.
The business, particularly its seven stores in Auckland, had been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown, but that was not what tipped it into receivership.
"When you've got a business that has 16 stores nationwide you've got to be pretty-hands on to make sure that it works," Khov said, adding that the business was making a loss.
Berryman was "hostile" and did not co-operate with the receivers, Khov said.
Berryman declined to comment when contacted by the Herald.
This is not Berryman's first insolvency.
He was previously a director of cosmetics company BDM Grange, which was placed into liquidation in June 2019.
Price Wise and Zenith collectively owe Polar Capital a sum of over seven figures, Khov said.
Receivers are continuing to trade the health and beauty products business and are looking for a buyer to takeover the retail operation and the distribution arm as a going concern.
Khov Jones is seeking expressions of interest until Thursday.
Price Wise Ltd changed its name from East Tamaki No. 33 Ltd in 2013. Zenith was incorporated in 2016.
Earlier this year, Jan Cameron, the founder of Kathmandu, resigned as a director of Pricewise, triggering a change of ownership at the company.
Companies Office records show Cameron resigned as a director of Pricewise on January 22.
On the same date, Narden Limited, an entity associated with Cameron, was removed as a majority shareholder in Pricewise. Narden had held a 62 per cent stake which had been transferred to Berryman.
Records show Colin Neal of Polar Capital held majority stakes of almost 34 per cent in both Price Wise Ltd and Zenith Distribution Ltd.