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Creditors take $11m hit after former rich-lister's company folds

REBECCA STEVENSON
Last updated 11:06 10/12/2012

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Bergdorf Investments, the company of former rich-lister Bill Birnie, has been liquidated, with creditors - including the estate of his late wife - more than $11 million out of pocket.

Birnie liquidated Bergdorf at the end of last month.

Liquidator Glenn Walker says in his first report that the company owed $11m more than it held in assets.

Its principal assets comprised "various loans and investments made to growth technology-related companies", the report says.

Bergdorf believed its investments were about $17.9m but these assets were expected to have a realisable value of slightly more than $1.9m, the liquidator said.

The company was formerly known as Birnie Capital Partners until October 23, just before its liquidation. Birnie is Bergdorf's sole director and shareholder.

Walker said the businesses and assets the company had invested in required significant funding but the environment for "these types of investments" had deteriorated significantly. Most of the businesses have ceased trading or are in liquidation.

Walker said there were no further funding options for Bergdorf to continue operating and with the write-off of the investments it had a "significant deficiency" of assets and shareholder funds.

BNZ held a first-ranking registered security for a bank facility of $25m.

BC Finance, another Birnie company, was owed more than $11m.

More than $30,000 was owed to employees for holiday pay.

No distribution would be available to unsecured creditors, who were owed $252,640, the report says. Fairfax NZ

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- Fairfax Media

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