03/02/2004 - 21:00

Metabolism creditors’ report imminent

03/02/2004 - 21:00

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Metabolism creditors’ report imminent

CREDITORS of failed weight loss operation The Metabolism Centre should be receiving their copy of the administrator’s report into the company’s woes by the end of this week.

The report comes ahead of the next creditors’ meeting, to be held a week later.

Joint administrator Mark Reilly said that all but three of the company’s 19 centres had been vacated due to rent payment pressure.

The three centres not vacated are located in Western Australia.

Mr Reilly said he was also investigating a company called Metabolism Recruitment Training and Services that, according to Australian Securities and Investments Commission records, is linked to The Metabolism Centre and Metabolism Health directors James Cowling, David John and Joseph Ohayon.

Metabolism Health is also under administration. It was put into the control of administrator Brian McMaster from Ernst and Young last month.

ASIC records also show that MRTS’ secretary is Stuart Usher, who was company secretary for Metabolism Health.

Mr Usher, a former financial controller at Hartleys, was appointed Metabolism Health company secretary on December 15 and resigned his position on January 15.

He said that he and other senior staff, including operations manager Wade Kelly – who had also only been with Metabolism Health for about six weeks – left together.

“I wanted to wipe my hands of the whole thing. I didn’t want to hang around to clean up the whole mess,” Mr Usher said.

“I made my own decision after reading the directors’ minutes. It was my job to convince the directors to call the administrators in.”

He said MRTS was only a shelf company and did not even have a bank account.

“It was a company set up about four months ago because the company was looking at providing training services and seminars to clients,” Mr Usher said.

“It was to be a registered training organisation so we could access government grants. The plan was to expand the training services provided.”

The Metabolism Centre had also been close to trading profitably, he said.

“To achieve profitability we needed to achieve seven sales per day per centre. I think an average sale was $420,” Mr Usher told WA Business News.

“But there were a huge amount of losses brought forward.”

The Metabolism Centre owes creditors between $6.5 million and $7 million.

Metabolism Health went into administration just weeks after it listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. It raised more than $2 million from investors.

The Metabolism Centre owes Metabolism Health about $4.4 million.

 

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