New Ostwald Bros liquidator releases first report
THE new liquidator of defunct Dalby construction business Ostwald Bros Pty Ltd will attempt to claw back nearly $5 million in preferential payments made in the six months prior to the company's winding up.
FTI Consulting's John Park and Kelly-Anne Trenfield were appointed as liquidators of the company after former liquidators Derrick Vickers and Sam Marsden of Pricewaterhouse Coopers resigned amid growing creditor dissatisfaction, and citing a conflict of interest over PPB Advisory's August 1 merger with PwC.
In FTI Consulting's most recent report to creditors, Ms Trenfield wrote that PwC had made a claim for the remaining $1.2 million in Ostwald Bros' bank account for "remuneration and disbursements", meaning there was no cash at hand to fund further recovery efforts.
Of the $5.2 million in payments made to 33 creditors in the lead-up to the company's winding up, Ms Trenfield said she had investigated the preferential payment claims and found four potential preferences totalling nearly $400,000 were not feasible or otherwise uncommercial to pursue.
"I have referred six of these potential preference recipients valued at $1,459,617 to my solicitors and I am continually liaising with them in this regard," she wrote.
She said the remaining 23 potential preferential payments valued at $3.3 million were still being investigated.
Ms Trenfield said investigations into uncommercial transactions and insolvent trading claims had been put on hold until she was able to obtain funding, either from recoveries or external sources.
She also noted she had received correspondence from company directors Daniel, Brendan and Matthew Ostwald's solicitors "disputing the preliminary conclusions of the former liquidators" with regard to allegations of insolvent trading.