Liquidators report phoenix company allegations

MATT NIPPERT
Last updated 13:38 30/01/2013

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A Bay of Plenty property developer who owes the late Allan Hubbard's Aorangi Securities $2.5 million has been reported to authorities over allegations he set up a phoenix company to dodge debts.

The referral by liquidators Kenneth Brown and Paul Maning of RHB marks the latest twist in a bitter and drawn-out dispute over an unfinished Papamoa residential development. Aorangi financed the development.

The latest liquidators' report for Peter Cameron's company, Emerald Shores, said concerns over possible Companies Act breaches relating to phoenix companies had been referred to the National Enforcement Unit, which policies the Act on behalf on the Registrar of Companies.

Phoenix companies refer to companies established, often with similar names, directors and shareholders to that of a failing business, in order to strip assets.

A spokesman for the National Enforcement Unit said it was waiting on further documents from the liquidators. "The Office of the Registrar will then investigate the allegations and information supplied and act appropriately," he said.

It was reported last year Cameron had incorporated a new company, Emerald Shores (2011), and transferred 13 sections of property into the new entity in the months leading up to the July liquidation.

Cameron described the arrangement at the time as "very credible, very kosher".

But when appointing liquidators to the company, a judge in the High Court in Timaru criticised the property transfers, describing them as "hiving off".

Brown and Manning's report said caveats had been placed over the 13 properties.

The receivership has been further complicated by Cameron appointing receiver Kim Scott Thompson to Emerald Shores to recover costs - including those for a failed challenge to the appointment of Brown and Manning - advanced by another of his companies, Cameron International (NZ).

Brown and Manning said they challenged the validity of the debt owed to Cameron International, and were seeking to have the appointment of Thompson terminated at a hearing at the High Court in Timaru on February 20.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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