Bar firm owed IRD large bill

MICHAEL BERRY
Last updated 07:33 29/11/2012

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The West Coast Bar & Grill (Christchurch) owed more than half a million dollars to the taxman when it was put into liquidation, court documents show.

The restaurant and bar was part of the Westcoast Brewing operation started by Queenslander Paddy Sweeney which included The West Coast Brewery and, earlier in its life, a bottle store.

The craft brewery company and parent company Westcoast Brewing are both in liquidation as well.

The Westport brewery has been sold by the liquidators to Coastwest Holdings which is now running the craft beer operation.

Court documents show West Coast Bar & Grill (Christchurch) owed the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) $654,174 at November 13, the date of liquidation.

The principal debt was $379,341 with $82,469 in added penalties, $217,333 in non- payment penalties, and $70,836 in unpaid interest.

The company had paid the IRD $95,805.

The Main North Rd restaurant and bar is still operating under new owners after an 11th-hour sale the day before the liquidation.

Spokesman for the new owners, John Kong, of Christchurch, said the ownership was still being settled and would be confirmed next year.

The bar would continue to sell the West Coast Brewery's range of craft beer, but would also sell beer from large brewer Lion Nathan, including Speights.

The bar and restaurant's lease had been transferred to AJK Group, a Christchurch company that is wholly- owned by Kong, according to the Companies Office.

Iain Nellies and Wayne Deuchrass, of Insolvency Management, are the liquidators of the West Coast group of companies.

Nellies said the last-minute sale of the bar and grill business had meant for a frantic first week in the company wind-up, but the splitting of bills between the buyer and the bar & grill company under his and Deuchrass' control had gone smoothly.

Most of the money requested had been paid to the liquidators and there were only a few minor "ins and outs" left to iron out, he said. The sale had been ratified by the liquidators, he said.

The IRD bill remains with the failed company that racked up the debt, he said.

Parent company Westcoast Brewing owed the Inland Revenue Department $32,856 at the liquidation date of November 13.

The company owed $22,366 with $14,811 in penalties and interest. It had paid $6945.

About 370 investors bought into Westcoast Brewing during its almost six-year life.

Nellies and Deuchrass are due to release their first liquidator reports on December 17.

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