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Verdict in on Little Brewing

August 3, 2017
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There will be no dividend to any creditor of Little Brewing Company, reveals a report by the company’s administrator, which also provides a benchmark for the resale value of a brewery’s plant and equipment.

Shaw Gidley received only one expression for interest for the sale of the business as a going concern, according to its June 27 report.

That offer came from Port Macquarie Brewing Company, which is presumably a holding company for Wicked Elf Beers Pty Ltd, revealed in March as the buyer by Brews News.

“It is noted that the offer from PMBC was the only offer received and was far in excess of the amount likely to be received had the business been shut down and the physical assets sold by way of public auction,” the report by administrator Shaw Gidley says.

However, the entire business and assets – including all goodwill, plant and equipment and intellectual property – sold for just $320,000 plus stock, less employee entitlements of transferring employees.

The sale proceeds relating to the sale of plant and equipment ($300,000) were paid to National Australia Bank, in accordance with its general security interests.

At a minimum this included a 12-hectolitre brewhouse, six 3000-litre unitanks and two 6000-litre unitanks, according to the equipment specifications previously listed on the Little Brewing Company website.

“Our current opinion is that there are insufficient asset realisations to facilitate a dividend to any class of creditor,” the report says.

Shaw Gidley declined to comment to Brews News.

Insolvent trading
Shaw Gidley said it had referred current director Kylie Little and former director Warwick Little to ASIC and recommended that further action be taken for the company allegedly trading while insolvent from June 2014 to August 2016.

“ASIC have advised that they do not intend to take any further action with respect to this matter,” the administrator said.

Shaw Gidley said the Littles have significant personal liabilities and would not have the financial capacity to satisfy any orders made by a court for an insolvent trading claim.

“Accordingly in our opinion, we do not believe that it would be commercial to pursue an insolvent trading claim against Kylie and Warwick Little,” the administrator said.

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