Beer flows, but bar in liquidation
Westcoast Brewing has been put into liquidation by Inland Revenue (IRD), along with its Christchurch bar and grill subsidiary.
Associate Judge Rob Osborne yesterday ordered that Westcoast Brewing and West Coast Bar & Grill (Christchurch) be put into liquidation under Iain Nellies and Wayne Deuchrass of Insolvency Management.
Nellies said West Coast Bar & Grill (Christchurch) had sold the Main North Rd bar & grill business on Monday and it was still trading as far as he knew.
The amounts owed by Westcoast Brewing and the bar & grill were not available.
About 370 investors bought in to Westcoast Brewing during its almost six-year life. The latest public records show the company had $4.3 million in equity in the year ended June 2010; the last public share issue was in 2009.
Nellies and Deuchrass were appointed liquidators of related company The West Coast Brewery back in May. The Westport-based craft brewery owed about $265,000 to unsecured creditors, a further $133,700 was owed to preferential creditors.
About $90,000 of the preferential claims was due to the IRD - the principal tax debt - with $144,000 of the unsecured claims penalties and interest claimed by the department.
Queenslander Paddy Sweeney, founder and director of the Westcoast Brewing group of companies and the Good Bastards Club, has said those penalties were harsh, with the IRD the only creditor allowed to impose such high punishment on debtors.
Yesterday, Sweeney would not comment except to say it was business as usual at the West Coast Bar & Grill after its sale.
Meanwhile, the sale of the Westport brewery was likely to be finished this week after a few delays with the buyer getting brewing approval from Customs, Nellies said.
That buyer is Coastwest Holdings, a Whangarei-based company created in September, of which Sweeney is a director.
Sweeney does not have a shareholding in the new company, which is majority-owned by another Queenslander, Phil Harrex, formerly of Alexandra; an Oxford man, a Hamilton man and Graeme Bratty, of the Whangarei address of the company.
All are shareholders of Westcoast Brewing.
Christchurch property developer Richard Peebles owns a small share in Westcoast Brewing.