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Leaked recording reveals Ostwald Bros debt to sacked staff

SAD TIMES: Ostwald Bros workers gather for an emergency meeting in Dalby.
SAD TIMES: Ostwald Bros workers gather for an emergency meeting in Dalby. Michael Doyle

UPDATE: Sacked workers at Ostwald Bros are owed $4 million in entitlements, according to administrators.

A leaked recording of Wednesday's creditors meeting in Toowoomba has shed more light on the financial woes of the civil construction company.

In the audio, PriceWaterhouseCoopers administrator Derrick Vickers told the room at the All Seasons Function Centre that staff entitlements could rise if more workers were laid off.

Derrick Vickers, Adminstrator, PWC at the creditors meeting for Ostwald Bros company. Wednesday, 6th, Sep, 2017.
Derrick Vickers, Adminstrator, PWC at the creditors meeting for Ostwald Bros company. Wednesday, 6th, Sep, 2017. Nev Madsen

"On the employees that have been made redundant so far, the current estimate of the company is that it is about $4 million," he said.

On top of staff redundancy payouts, the Australian Taxation Office also stated in the meeting it was owed more than $11 million.

A creditors committee, made up of 10 different parties including the ATO, was also set up during the meeting.

It comes as PWC revealed the full list of creditors for Ostwald Bros, with big names including Wagners, IOR Petroleum, Ergon Energy, FKG Group, Caltex and Coates Hire.

The creditors are spread across four entities that make up Ostwald Bros, three of which are in voluntary administration while another, Ostwald Facilities and Accommodation, was placed into liquidation days before the first major announcement from the company on August 28.

The full list of more than 1050 entries also features about 460 individuals, mostly current and former employees.

The current debt bill sits at $61 million, which includes $30 million for the only secured creditor, ANZ Bank.

The sacked workers are the priority unsecured creditor, followed by other all other contractors.

Ostwald Bros owes $61 million to its creditors.
Ostwald Bros owes $61 million to its creditors.

EARLIER: Administrators for Ostwald Bros have revealed to The Chronicle the full list of creditors owed money.

The list includes big names such as Wagners, IOR Petroleum, Ergon Energy, FKG Group, Caltex and Coates Hire.

Staff are also believed to be owed about $4 million in redundancy payouts, but that number could climb if more workers are laid off.

The creditors are spread across four entities that make up Ostwald Bros, three of which are in voluntary administration while another, Ostwald Facilities and Accommodation, was placed into liquidation days before the first major announcement from the company on August 28.

The full list of more than 1050 entries also features about 460 individuals, mostly current and former employees.

A creditors committee, made up of 10 different parties including the Australian Taxation Office, was also set up after the creditors meeting this week.

PriceWaterhouseCoopers administrator Derrick Vickers said on Wednesday he would investigate if Ostwald Bros was trading while insolvent before entering administration, but did not speculate on the likelihood of that outcome.

The next creditors' meeting has to occur before September 29, with interested parties to receive a full report from PWC beforehand.

Topics:  dalby ostwald bros pricewaterhouse coopers toowoomba


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