An Auckland businessman has been found personally liable for nearly half a million dollars in debt after failing to restart the Nosh supermarket brand.
Aaron Carl Drever had bought Grocer's Market, replacing a Mt Eden Nosh store, in August last year after the upmarket supermarket chain went into receivership and collapsed last July.
He then opened his business in the same building as the former Nosh outlet on Dominion Rd.
But Grocer's Market lasted just a few months and its assets were bought by rival company Farro Fresh.
This year, Waterstone Insolvency was appointed liquidator of TGM Trading, Drever's trading company.
Today, the High Court at Auckland heard an application from liquidator Damian Grant to hold Drever personally responsible for Grocer's Market's creditors' debt and liquidators' fees.
Counsel for Waterstone, Joshua Wong, told the court Drever had failed to keep proper accounting records as required under the Companies Act, and had substantially impeded an orderly liquidation.
He said he was personally liable for all of the outstanding debt to creditors, a little more than $444,000, and the liquidators' fees - a total of $489,729.34.
The court heard Drever kept no day-to-day transaction records but some GST returns had been filed.
Justice Peter Churchman, delivering his judgment at the end of the hearing, said Drever had "failed egregiously to comply with his obligations" and was personally liable.
Drever wasn't in court for today's hearing, and Justice Churchman heard he had filed no submissions in his defence nor been in correspondence with Waterstone.
However, the judge said there was "no possible defences that Mr Drever could have raised had he appeared in person".