A former giant of the seafood industry in Hawke's Bay still owes $1.7 million to creditors, a new report has revealed.
Hawke's Bay Seafoods has not traded since 2019 when the business and its assets were sold off.
The commercial fishing business, directed by Antonino D'Esposito, operated for more than 20 years in the region prior to being sold.
Despite not trading for three years, the company was placed into liquidation this year following an order by the High Court.
One of its creditors, BDO Auckland, successfully requested it to be placed into liquidation over an outstanding debt.
The liquidator's first report has now been released and shows the company owes about $1.7 million to a long list of creditors.
That includes the likes of BDO Auckland, the Ministry of Business, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners NZ, ACC and many others.
In total, the report lists 28 creditors who may be owed money by Hawke's Bay Seafoods, totalling about $1.7 million.
That $1.7 million does not include money owed to "inter-company creditors", which are sister companies or companies with related shareholders.
D'Esposito said he had not read the liquidator's report when contacted by Hawke's Bay Today and did not want to comment until he had seen it.
When contacted later in the day he said he had been busy unloading boats and hadn't had a chance to read it.
"I can't comment because I've seen nothing."
Hawke's Bay Seafoods does not have any known assets, the report says.
"An investigation into the records and affairs of the company will be conducted to determine whether any insolvent transactions have occurred that should be clawed back by the liquidator for the benefit of all creditors," the liquidator's report read.
"The liquidator will also investigate the possibility of any breaches of legislation by the company and its directors and officers that could benefit creditors.
"Any breaches of legislation will be reported to the relevant authorities.
"It is not practicable to estimate a date of completion for this liquidation at this stage."
Hawke's Bay Seafoods experienced plenty of ups and downs during its time operating in the region.
In 2014, it was raided by the Ministry of Primary Industries.
In 2019, following a lengthy investigation and court proceeding, Hawke's Bay Seafoods along with two sister companies and their directors, all related to the D'Esposito family, were fined over $1 million.
The fine related to the underreporting of tonnes of fish exported overseas.
It was not long after that fine that the company was sold to Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Inc.
It has since operated as a different company, Takitimu Seafoods, under the iwi's ownership.
Last month, it was revealed that Takitimu Seafoods had lost almost $7 million mainly as a result of the pandemic, and it was facing the prospect of a big restructure and up to 45 job losses.
Takitimu Seafoods is not involved in the liquidation process of Hawke's Bay Seafoods.
Any creditors who believe they are owed money by Hawke's Bay Seafoods and wish to make a claim should contact the appointed liquidator, Palliser Insolvency Limited.
A related company of Hawke's Bay Seafoods, called Esplanade No 3 Ltd, was also placed into liquidation last year.