Shanton owner in other firms that failed

JENNY KEOWN
Last updated 05:00 11/10/2012

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Sydney rag trader Fred Bart, the majority owner of Kiwi clothing chain Shanton Apparel in receivership, has reportedly been embroiled in a couple of companies across the Tasman that collapsed while he was on the board or shortly after.

Shanton Apparel and its subsdiary, Shanton Retail, went in to receivership on Tuesday morning after what the receiver called a period of difficult trading conditions.

Several parties are said to be interested in buying Shanton as a going concern. It employs 122 workers and operates 39 stores nationwide.

Shanton Apparel is majority owned by Australian-based Atamine, of which Bart was a director until last week. Carter Trading in Auckland, and Manukau-based Taca also hold stakes in the company.

When contacted in Sydney, Bart declined to comment about the Shanton receivership or his other business dealings. He directed all queries to its Tauranga-based receiver Anthony Harris who couldn't be reached for comment.

Shanton Apparel is also owner of BBB Retail which trades as Bed, Bath & Beyond but has been unaffected by the receivership of its parent.

In 2009 Bart's bedding chain, the Sleeping Giant, went in to voluntary administration with its liabilities exceeding its assets by A$5.7 million, The Brisbane Times reported.

He also resigned as chairman of Australian-headquartered Genetic Technologies in 2009. Genetic Technologies founder Mervyn Jacobsen reportedly had to step off the board in 2008 on a charge of 319 counts of market manipulation in relation to the company's share price.

Bart was a director of a couple of New Zealand companies that ended up in liquidation. Woolrest went in to liquidation in 2003. He was also a director of Manhatten Mattress which went into liquidation in 2003, as $10,000 of shareholder funds were set off against related-party deals, according to the liquidators report.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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