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Interest in buying Bush Tavern

Last updated 13:00 13/02/2014

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Hopes are still high that Nelson pub the Bush Tavern will reopen.

The 156-year-old pub closed last year when the company running it, Bush Tavern 2013 Ltd, went into liquidation.

However, the freehold property with a rateable value of $680,000 has been advertised for sale and it is understood there has been interest.

Local residents have regularly been asking whether it will reopen but Keith Vincent of Appleby, who has owned the property for 21 years, declined to comment.

Inside the Grove St pub, a ceiling, curtains and carpet have been replaced following an arson attack last year.

Nelson police are awaiting some forensic results and said the case was still under investigation. No charges have been laid.

The creditors have not received any payment following the liquidation.

Publican Barry Dorset, who took over the lease of the pub last April, has been declared bankrupt for a second time, his business conduct referred to the Companies Office and his company struck off.

Liquidator Geoff Falloon's final report last month says protracted efforts to sell the business had proved fruitless, and had been further frustrated by an arsonist setting fire to the corner of the building.

The liquidator's report shows a total deficit of $150,293 but notes there is no dividend to creditors.

Mr Falloon said the stock might have held some nominal value to a purchaser of the business but little would be gained by selling it by other means. The report shows that of the $47,228 owed to unsecured creditors, the largest amount is $30,187 owed to Mr Vincent.

Mr Dorset, the company's director, who was a discharged bankrupt in 1997, was again declared bankrupt last October.

The liquidator said he considered there was little prospect of obtaining money from Mr Dorset to rectify the company's losses.

"Rumours that Mr Dorset has spent considerable funds in Picton recently are unsubstantiated. However they will be reported to the National Enforcement Unit pursuant to section 258A of the Companies Act 1993, as will the suspected offence that the director agreed, caused or allowed the business of the company to be carried on in a manner that was likely to create a substantial risk of serious loss to the company's creditors," said the report.

The NEU investigates and prosecutes offences under the Companies Act and Insolvency Act.

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