We have extensive knowledge in the agribusiness market with engagements and experience covering beef cattle and other livestock, abattoirs, feedlots, broad acre farming, dairy, aquaculture, horticulture, viticulture and forestry markets.
Our team has a strong understanding of the issues impacting Australian agriculture, including legislative and political issues, and we have a broad network of key contacts in the major geographic agriculture regions of South Australia and the Northern Territory.
We were appointed as Voluntary Administrators, and subsequently as Court appointed Liquidators, of Interfert and Megafert, a large scale importer and wholesaler of agricultural fertiliser products. We devised and implemented a strategy to wind down the Company’s operations in South Australia and Victoria and managed the asset realisation process. We have conducted substantial investigations into the affairs of the companies, as well as examinations of the Directors and other parties in the Federal Court of Australia.
We were appointed Receivers and Managers over a 22 hectare table grape farm in the Mildura region, which produced Menindee Seedless, Thompson Seedless and Red Crimson varieties. This was a complex and difficult assignment owing to significant resistance from the Directors that required Federal Court proceedings to enforce control of the property and its valuable crop. We coordinated the harvest of the crop, maintenance of the vineyards and appointed agents to market the farm for sale. The result of the appointment saw the debt owed to the secured creditor paid in full.
We were appointed Voluntary Administratorss of Agrow Contractors which provided vineyard and forestry services in the South East region of South Australia as well as forestry services in the Northern Territory. Specifically, Agrow prepared land for the plantation of vineyards and forests (radiata pine and eucalypt). Under Administration the Company completed work in progress prior to the business ceasing to trade and the assets being realised.
We were appointed Voluntary Administrators of the ASX listed, Arafura Pearls Holdings Limited, in 2010. Based in the Northern Territory, the Company was Australia’s second largest producer of South Sea Pearls. In addition to the operation of pearl farms, the Company was also the responsible entity of five registered managed investment schemes that received in excess of $30 million in investment funds. Subsequent to our appointment we negotiated an agreement which allowed the full payout of the Company’s first ranking secured creditor with the assignment of all other fixed charges over the Company to the purchaser of its pearl farming assets.
We were appointed Receivers and Managers of the Mary River Cattle Station. In addition to its cattle operations, the Company operated a sawmill plant and held mining tenements. The station was 1,346 square kilometres in size and located adjacent to the Kakadu National Park. Significant Native Title/Sacred Site issues, together with the mining tenements that needed to be addressed prior to the property being placed on the market for sale.
We were appointed as Trustee of a Bankrupt Estate which owned Umberatana Station. The outgoing proprietor was a difficult individual who engaged the services of Rural Counsellors. The station was in a state of disrepair and required maintenance prior to offering the property for sale. With a capacity of 5,900 head of sheep covering 570 square kilometres at Leigh Creek, after successfully negotiations the station was sold as a going concern.
Stephen Duncan was a member of the Board of Directors of Forestry SA for ten years. During this time he also held the position of Chairman of the Audit Committee. Forestry SA managed South Australia’s forestry assets of 95,000 hectares of plantations across the state, principally radiata pine and with an annual turnover of $130m.
We were appointed as Trustee of a Bankrupt Estate which owns a 544ha farming property at Parndana on Kangaroo Island in South Australia. The cropping and livestock property was marketed for sale and subsequently sold.
We were appointed Liquidator of Gagudju Charitable Association, an entity established to provide services to, and benefit, the local aboriginal people in Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory. Gagudju owned and operated a buffalo farm with a herd numbering 400, which was managed and ultimately sold during the course of the Liquidation. This was a challenging appointment during which cultural issues and sensitivities needed to be managed.
In our capacity as Trustee of a Personal Insolvency Arrangement, we marketed and sold a farming property located at Darke Peak on the Eyre Peninsula of South Australia. The property comprised 1,385 hectares divided into ten paddocks suited to grain crops and/or sheep grazing, and had a residential dwelling, farming sheds and related infrastructure. The property was marketed and sold at auction.
We were engaged to conduct an Investigating Accountant's review prior to being appointed Receivers and Managers of Australian Tuna Fisheries and Santa Anna Tuna Fisheries. The Companies were major players in pioneering tuna fish farming and was involved in Southern Bluefin Tuna Fishery and the Pacific Tuna Fishery. The Company operated a fleet of tuna fishing vessels from its base at Port Lincoln, South Australia. The Companies were restructured whereby part of the Company’s quota and vessel infrastructure was sold to Japanese investors, the balance of the secured creditor’s debt was refinanced. These appointments marked the beginning of a consolidation within the tuna fishing industry
We were appointed Receivers and Managers of Clarence Station. The station was 500 square kilometres in size and located near Katherine in the Northern Territory. In order to prepare the property for sale it was necessary to engage contractors to locate and muster the livestock.
A partnership dispute lead to the appointment of a Receiver by the Court in respect of a pig farming operation located at Mount Gambier, South Australia. The pig farm reared its pigs in an “intensive indoor housing” environment and had a capacity of 370 sows. We oversaw and managed the pig farm for a period of eighteen months whilst the parties sought to resolve the dispute. However, this outcome was not possible and the pig farm was sold.
We were appointed Court Liquidators in respect of a Company that operated an oyster farm off the coast of Kangaroo Island in South Australia. The Company operated a small fleet of vessels, together with an oyster farming lease, which were sold.
We were appointed as Receiver over a grain crop pursuant to a Crop Lien, which was located on a farm situated on the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia. We coordinated the harvest of the crop (250 hectares) and sale of the grain.
We were appointed the Trustee in Bankruptcy of IN & JG Sobey, which formerly operated a potato and carrot farming, processing and packaging operation in the South East of South Australia. The administration of this matter involved the marketing and sale of the farming land, processing and packaging facility, together with plant and equipment.
We were appointed Voluntary Administratorss of Simpson Packing, which operated from Loxton in the Riverland region of South Australia. The Company owned the largest citrus fruit packing facility in the Riverland region. The Company was restructured through a recapitalisation via a Deed of Company Arrangement process.
We were appointed Voluntary Administratorss over Tiers Wine Company, a wine producer located in the McLaren Vale region of South Australia. The Company produced wine under three labels for the local and export market, sourcing fruit from its own vineyards as well as third party vineyards. The principal issues dealt with in this Administration involved two separate complex damages claims the Company had against its contract winemaker (failure to stabilise wine) and the company that provided bottling services (cork taint).