BBQ Factory keeps the doors open in Auckland

WILLIAM MACE
Last updated 15:48 30/09/2011

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The BBQ Factory's two Auckland retail stores will remain open for the foreseeable future but vouchers won't be honoured, the company's receivers say.

Despite a 30 year history as the place to go for all things barbecue, and more recently for spas and swimming pools, the company entered voluntary receivership yesterday.

The Auckland stores are in Mt Wellington and Wairau Park on the North Shore.

Receiver Shaun Adams of KPMG said vouchers would not be redeemable and customers who had paid for products but were waiting for delivery from third-party suppliers would have to join the queue as unsecured creditors.

Customers who had paid for or given a deposit on products that were already in store would be able to claim their purchase as long as they paid in full, he said.

The six other BBQ Factory stores between Auckland and Nelson would be permanently closed with 30 to 40 jobs affected across the group.

Adams yesterday said the company would be unlikely to attract a trade buyer in the current retail environment, but said the well-known brand might be of value.

He would not say how many vouchers were outstanding or how much debt was owed by the company.
BBQ Factory has had a chequered history recently.

Hellaby Holdings sold the company for $5.8 million in 2008, after an impairment on the BBQ Factory business dragged its net profit down by $4.6m for that year.

Hellaby chief executive John Williamson stated earlier this year that the BBQ Factory had cost his company $50m, through "value destruction", trading losses and write-offs, over four years.

The company is subject to a general security agreement in favour of shareholder and former BBQ Factory chief executive Timothy Joseph Wilson who, along with former financial controller Scott Lester and Mark Royston Flaherty, formed a consortium which helped purchase the business from Hellaby in 2008.

Flaherty has been the sole director since April, while both he and Wilson had retained shareholdings.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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