Company sold assets before liquidation

DEBBIE JAMIESON
Last updated 05:00 31/07/2014

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Queenstown-based road construction company Blue 9 Ltd owes $2.8 million but appears to have sold all its assets before going into liquidation, a liquidator's report says.

Blue 9 is the fourth company owned by Steve Rout and various family members to be put into liquidation since 2002.

According to Companies Office documents, assets of Steve Rout Contracting, which was liquidated in 2011 owing more than $5.3 million, and company East South Ltd, which was put into receivership at the same time, were sold to Blue 9.

Steve's son Jesse Rout said yesterday he had worked at Blue 9 and purchased earthmoving equipment from Blue 9 via the company's secured creditor UDC Finance Ltd.

Other equipment was sold following a public tender.

"I do believe all the equipment was sold. I haven't seen all the numbers on that," Jesse Rout said.

He was operating his own company, NuRoad Civil Ltd, in Queenstown. He had one existing client from Blue 9 and a couple of staff members were still with him.

"Those were the boys that pretty much worked directly with me at Blue 9."

According to the Companies Office documents, Jesse Rout is the sole director and shareholder of NuRoad Civil.

The first liquidator's report on Blue 9 Ltd became public this week and says Blue 9 was also known as NuRoad Civil.

Blue 9 ceased trading on January 30 this year when it could no longer pay its debts, the report says.

The company is owned by Jane and Steve Rout and trustees of The Poutama Trust. Steve Rout is listed as the sole director. The Blue 9 liquidators had only been able to contact Steve Rout via email and telephone, as he was now residing in the Philippines, the report said.

"The liquidators have been advised that all of the company assets have been sold prior to the date of the liquidation. However further contact with the director is being made to confirm that there are no further physical assets to be disposed of.

"An examination of the records will also be made to confirm this fact," it says.

The report lists $2.8m due to creditors including $1.7m to secured creditors, $254,000 to preferential and $687,000 to unsecured creditors.

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