18 Jul 2012

No money for unsecured Pike creditors

5:13 pm on 18 July 2012

The receiver for Pike River says there is no chance any money will be paid to any unsecured creditors.

The sale of the company to Solid Energy for $7.5 million was confirmed on Tuesday.

The money will be shared between New Zealand Oil Gas, a secured creditor, and the receivers, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, which receives $2.5 million worth of fees.

That leaves $30 million owing to 220 unsecured creditors, who include the mine's suppliers and contractors.

Greymouth mayor Tony Kokshoorn says while the sale is good news for Solid Energy it does nothing to help the contractors, many of whom have received only 20 cents in the dollar.

Receiver John Fisk told Morning Report that it looked like creditors would be paid early in the process.

But, he said, some overseas parties pulled out of the bidding process because of a number of reasons including the recovery of the bodies.

An explosion in the mine in November 2010 killed 29 men.

Mr Fisk said he was disappointed the mine did not sell for more.

One potential overseas buyer was scared off in part because of perceived hostility to foreign investment.

Mr Fisk said this happened during the controversy over the sale of the Crafar farms to Chinese interests.

Just hanging on

Peter Haddock, a spokesperson for the contractors, says some have been forced out of business as a result of the mine's closure while others are hanging by a thread.