Lane Walker Rudkin in receivership

21:10, May 03 2009

Clothing manufacturer Lane Walker Rudkin Industries - which employs nearly 500 staff in New Zealand and Australia - has been placed in receivership, banker Westpac says.

The Christchurch-headquartered company has gone into into receivership with Westpac appointing BDO Spicers as the receiver-manager.

LWRI is 100 per cent owed by Christchurch's Ken Anderson, according to the Companies Office, who two years ago recounted to The Press that the company had a history going back to 1904.

BDO Spicers partners Brian Mayo-Smith and Stephen Tubbs, in a statement said the appointment by bankers was to protect the financial position of LWR and its subsidiary Pod while issues facing the group are resolved.

''The LWR operations are currently unprofitable and have incurred a substantial increase in bank debt.''

Anderson purchased LWR in 2001 and Pod (until then owned by a group of businessmen including George Gould) in 2007.

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LWR is a diversified manufacturer of clothing and textiles with operations in several locations in New Zealand and Australia.

Approximately 470 people were employed in textile, hosiery, underwear and garment factories in Christchurch; garment manufacture in Greytown and Pahiatua; a sock factory in Timaru; and a sports apparel factory in Brisbane.

Pod comprises fabric maker Designer Textiles International, clothing designer and manufacturer Michele Ann and Mollers Homewares, all located in Auckland.

Tubbs said receivers now had full control over all the businesses. There would be a clear distinction in direction and day-to-day management between the LWR and Pod operations.

Information available up to this point would appear to indicate that the Pod operations are profitable and cash positive, Tubbs said.

''These operations will be ring-fenced under a dedicated board and management structure reporting to the receivers.

''The current chief executive and chief financial officer, Malcolm Walkinshaw and George Gin, will remain in place under these arrangements.''

It was understood the bank would provide additional finance to ensure the short-term liquidity and flexibility of the Pod businesses.

By ALAN WOOD, The Press