10 Dec 2018

Failed construction company Corbel owes $4.5m

4:12 pm on 10 December 2018

Failed Christchurch company Corbel Construction owes sub-contractors and suppliers about $4.5 million but it is unsure how much it can pay back.

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Photo: 123RF

Corbel became the latest construction industry player to go under, when it folded last week, with work on half a dozen projects it was working suspended.

In the first report, liquidator Andrew Oorschot of Ashton Wheelans Limited said the company's books showed total assets of almost $5m, including a bank account contained $383,000 and a retention fund for subcontractors with $110,000.

He said there would be enough money to cover the secured creditors, BNZ, owed $266,000, and two family trusts owed a total of $960,000.

"However, the recovery of funds for the unsecured creditors is entirely dependent on the recovery of November progress claims issued to customers and retentions on previously completed projects with a combined book value of just over $2 million."

Mr Oorschot estimated trade creditors and subcontractors were owed $4.5m and that even if the company recovered all the money its books indicated it owed, it could still be almost $1m short.

The directors had sought liquidation after a ruling did not go its way on a dispute with the body corporate of an Auckland townhouse complex.

The project, Parnell Terraces, is listed as part of $1.4m in work costs on Corbel's books and Mr Oorschot said it made up the majority of that amount.

"We will be reviewing the adjudication decision and taking legal advice on the options available," Mr Oorschot said.

As well as that, the next step for the liquidator is to work out what was owed and whether it could be recovered.

An informal meeting of creditors is expected to be held in the next few weeks.