22/02/2005 - 21:00

Another twist in CBM tale

22/02/2005 - 21:00

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Another twist in CBM tale

Failed media and exhibitions player Consolidated Business Media is now in receivership after the wife of CBM former director John Webb bought out BankWest’s debt and took its place as a secured creditor.

By taking the secured creditor’s position, Mrs Webb is now at the head of the line to receive any monies recovered from CBM.

It is understood the bank’s debt of about $700,000 was secured by a property in Mrs Webb’s name.

Gary Anderson Chartered Accounting partner Gary Anderson continues as liquidator of CBM, a position he was appointed to last year. CBM has debts of about $5 million.

Mr Anderson told WA Business News it was unlikely creditors would recover any money from CBM.

KordaMentha partner Brian McMaster and his colleague Jack James have been appointed as receiver managers of CBM by Mr Webb’s wife.

“All it means is there are certain legal debt recovery actions available to the company. The receiver can pursue them ahead of the administrator or liquidator,” Mr McMaster said.

“There’s some debt owed to the company from other entities.”

Mr Webb said his wife had decided to act because the bank already had security over the property.

At the time of CBM’s collapse, Mr Webb told WA Business News the final straw had come when a local printing supplier had sought to wind up the company

Mr Webb later filed for bankruptcy, citing three personal guarantees to creditors including The Sunday Times, Quality Press and Debrett’s Travel, which could not be met. The Australian Tax Office has a claim against CBM for more than $3.1 million and employees are owed about $330,000.

The media company’s demise last year came against a backdrop of legal action.

Exibit Exhibitions and Publishing had two legal actions against John Webb and CBM relating to an expo business Exibit bought from CBM in 1999.

Exibit’s Peter Versluis said the legal actions had been stalled by Mr Webb’s bankruptcy and CBM’s liquidation.

He said he also was trying to stop counter legal actions launched by Mr Webb.

“We’re seeking to have the actions against us thrown out on the basis that they are not going to be pursued by the liquidator,” Mr Versluis said.

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