Engineering firm Ozcon may have been 'trading insolvent'

VOLUNTARY LIQUIDATION: Ozcon Industries was placed in voluntary liquidation in January. INSERT: Director of Ozcon Industries Kieran Chiverton.
VOLUNTARY LIQUIDATION: Ozcon Industries was placed in voluntary liquidation in January. INSERT: Director of Ozcon Industries Kieran Chiverton. Jessica Bahr

LIQUIDATORS believe Ozcon Industries could have been trading while insolvent for at least 18 months before the Dalby company's collapse in January this year.

The Dalby Herald has obtained a copy of a creditors report compiled by liquidators DuncanPowell, outlining the circumstances around the company's demise.

The report said Ozcon Industries went bust owing more than $9.6 million, including $1.8 million to former employees.

That figure includes $284,206 worth of unpaid superannuation, which will be covered by the Australian Taxation Office.

Preliminary investigations by the liquidators suggested the company could have been trading insolvently from as far back as June 30, 2015.

Liquidators have formally notified their intent to the company's insurer to make an insolvent trading claim against the director of the company, Dalby man Kieran Chiverton, and will potentially lodge the same claims against four other directors.

DuncanPowell said Mr Chiverton did not have any significant assets, and is also being pursued by providers of the company for a number of personal grantee claims.

There could also be further implications for the former directors, with the report stating their intention to supply evidence to the nation's corporate regulator.

"In relation to any offences that may have been committed by the directors of the company (...) I (Chris Powell) am currently preparing a report to be submitted to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)," the report says.

Ozcon Industries went into liquidation on January 6 this year.

In less than one week, the company had terminated all of its 81 employees, but "certain employees were re-engaged" to assist with the sale of the company's assets.

Ozcon Industries was established in September 2005, by Chiverton who remained the director of the company until it was liquidated. for its entire existence.

The company operated in steel and pipe perforation fabrication and wielding.

The company's land and the property of the company was purchased by Japanese company, Marubeni-Itochu Tubular Oceania on February 8, this year.

Two days later, the land and the property were leased to a new company, Ozcon Engineering, which registered as a company on January 11, 2017.

Ozcon Engineering is a separate company and has no ties to Ozcon Industries.

A meeting for creditors of Ozcon Industries is scheduled for next week.

Topics:  dalby liquidators

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