Postie Plus appoints administrators

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Last updated 14:28 03/06/2014
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The union representing retail workers at national clothing chain Postie Plus is not surprised the company has gone into voluntary administration.

Maxine Gay, retail secretary at FIRST Union, said the last few years had been hard on the Postie Plus which had struggled to deal with serious supply-chain issues.

Postie Plus announced today that it had appointed David Bridgman and Colin McCloy of PwC to sell the company's assets and pursue compensation for unspecified losses.

Postie Plus will be able to continue trading while in administration.

Gay said the employees in the 82 Postie Plus stores nationwide had been told they would remain in their roles and continue to work agreed hours unless otherwise advised.

Gay said the union had also been told by the administrator that a number of credible parties were interested in the business.

PwC said a creditors' meeting would be held in about a week.

Colin McCloy of PwC said Postie Plus "got to the point where the losses were building and building and the business was not sustainable", and they were now trying to sell the business.

"We are talking to parties," he said.

An alternative strategy would be to restructure the business, McCloy said.

However, sharebrokers Hamilton Hindin Greene director Grant Williamson said there was a reasonable possibility that Postie Plus' shareholders could lose everything following today's announcement.

He said it was not a surprise to see the company go into voluntary administration.

"The company has been putting in a lot of effort to try and recapitalise . . . or even sell off more assets but obviously it hasn't happened," he said, adding the banks had probably given the directors no choice but to go into voluntary administration.

In April Postie Plus said it was in talks with "a number of parties" about investing in the company, after it posted a $3.8 million half-year loss that was more than double the previous first-half loss of $1.8m.

However, it was unable to find a suitor to invest new capital or buy the business outright and the board had now decided it couldn'tcarry on its business.

The company also said today that it had commissioned "expert legal advice as to its ability to recover compensation and has been advised that it has proper grounds to pursue a damages claim".

It didn't name the party it was looking at seeking compensation from but said the board believed this should be "vigorously pursued" on behalf of all stakeholders.

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Early last year Postie Plus said it would be seeking redress from international logistics firm Kuehne & Nagel which it had engaged to run its Auckland distribution centre.

Postie Plus chairman Richard Punter Punter outlined the problems to shareholders at the annual meeting in December. He said that to make room for new products, the company had to discount stock, and the financial impact had been heavy.

- Stuff

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