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Publisher makes news all about town

LOCAL publishing outfit Spencer Group Media Pty Ltd (SGM) has been placed in the hands of liquidators following action taken by the group's largest creditor, Vanguard Press.

SGM was responsible for the free local hospitality publications All About Town and Food News.

In late July, Mervyn Kitay of Grant Thornton was appointed liquidator by the WA Supreme Court.

SGM director Ron Spencer has since relaunched the core content of All About Town in a copycat magazine titled West Coast, published by another company, Publishing and Print Pty Ltd. Mr Spencer is the sole director and shareholder of that company.

Mr Spencer declined to comment on the on the liquidation or current operations when contacted.

However, an unidentified person at West Coast described the magazine as having "a similar style to All About Town but it's a separate publication and it's a lot bigger".

According to a report as to affairs submitted by liquidator to the Australian Securities and Invest-ments Commission, the SGM had total liabilities of $339,068 at July 30 this year.

The report shows Vanguard Press was owed a total of $177,799 at the end of the financial year, the bulk of that incurred more than 90 days earlier.

A $114,578 intercompany loan, apparently from Publishing & Print, is the only other significant liability of SGM.

Vanguard Press general manager Steve McAlinden said an invest-igation currently was under way and that the matter would be pursued as far as possible.

"If you look at the format (of West Coast) it's identical and he makes

a statement in one edition that

the same team is doing this."

"There is an injunction in place and we were able to search all the premises last Friday through the liquidator," Mr McAlinden said.

Grant Thornton partner Mervyn Kitay confirmed there were a number of investigations under way as to where assets of SGM are.

"All I can say is we are doing our investigation we have commenced certain legal processes to enable us to understand where and how assets from one company came under the control of another company," Mr Kitay said.

In other media news, Western suburbs-focused freebie Perth Weekly refused to respond to rumours that its publisher had decided to shut down the four-year-old publication before Christmas this year.

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