16/11/2004 - 21:00

Clearing the decks at WaveMaster

16/11/2004 - 21:00

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Creditors of foundering ship builder WaveMaster International may have to wait until next year to see if the business can be salvaged and they can recover what they are owed.

Clearing the decks at WaveMaster

Creditors of foundering ship builder WaveMaster International may have to wait until next year to see if the business can be salvaged and they can recover what they are owed.

The news comes after creditors voted on November 11 to dump Anthony Elkerton and David Young of William Buck Business Recovery, the administrators WaveMaster’s board appointed seven days earlier, in favour of KordaMentha partners Brian McMaster and Oren Zohar.

Normally the second creditors’ meeting has to be held within 28 days of the first meeting but Mr McMaster said he would be applying to the courts to have the date for the second meeting pushed back into the New Year.

“I hope to be able to call the meeting well before then, though, hopefully by mid December,” Mr McMaster said.

He said he needed the time to understand WaveMaster’s financial situation and to see whether the company’s Malaysian owners would offer any assistance.

Mr McMaster said it was too soon for him to tell whether WaveMaster could be salvaged.

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union had hoped to get PricewaterhouseCoopers appointed as administrator because of its success in steering Tasmanian fast ferry builder Incat clear of its financial difficulties last year.

AMWU lawyer Luke Edmonds said that bid had been abandoned when it became clear major secured creditor National Australia Bank was backing KordaMentha’s appointment.

Mr Elkerton said WaveMaster’s creditors were owed about $12.6 million. Employees are owed about $1.1 million – $750,000 of that to be covered by the Federal Government’s GEERS scheme – the NAB is owed about $1.7 million, and 171 unsecured creditors are owed $9.8 million.

He said a transaction that resulted in WaveMaster being sold by its Malaysian owner, Penang Shipbuilding and Construction Sdn Bhd, to Singaporean company JR Marine Systems Pte Ltd for $100,000 might be unwound because it could be argued that it was not a commercial transaction.

It’s understood JR Marine is owned by Business Focus Group, a company headed by Malaysian businessman Tan Sri Amin Shah Omar Shah. BFG also owns about 30 per cent of PSC’s Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange-listed parent Penang Shipbuilding and Construction Industries.

WA Business News had been told that William Buck was the auditor of PSCI.

Mr Elkerton said William Buck’s only link to PSCI was its role as WaveMaster’s auditor.

 

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