GDK Group collapses into liquidation owing $45m, another $315k debt added

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The debts of a collapsed group of manufacturing companies have snowballed as liquidators wade through the mess.

Last week, news.com.au reported that the final company involved in the Sydney-based GDK Group had been court-ordered to go into liquidation.

The Federal Court ordered Joinery Manufacturing Solutions Pty Ltd to go into liquidation over an unpaid tax debt, appointing Tristana Steedman of insolvency firm RSM Partners as the liquidator.

It came after all staff were brutally sacked right before Christmas, leaving some in tears and many out of pocket.

News.com.au previously reported that in the past six months, 11 businesses linked to the group, which specialises in cabinet making, had collapsed with debts in excess of $45 million.

Some of these businesses were named after obscure Lord of the Rings references, “confusing” some staff members and leaving them unaware that some of the companies were in operation.

Now RSM Partners has revealed the results of its preliminary investigation into the most recent company’s collapse.

A RSM spokesperson said so far, it appeared that 40 employees had been impacted by the collapse of Joinery Manufacturing Solutions Pty Ltd.

All of these employees have lodged claims with a government rescue scheme to have their final wages paid back though the exact amount owed is unknown.

The liquidation firm also said it was too early to know how much, if any, was owed to employees in superannuation.

RSM Partners said that Joinery Manufacturing Solutions owes in excess of $315,000 to the tax office, which is how it landed in court.

That’s on top of a further $15 million owed to creditors from four related companies which have gone under that RSM Partners are also investigating.

Another company, part of the GDK Group but with a different liquidator appointed, owes $29.8 million to creditors, according to a report lodged with ASIC.

Any creditors with concerns are urged to contact the liquidator on GDK_creditors@rsm.com.au.

RSM Australia Partner Richard Stone said in a statement to news.com.au: “The liquidators understand this is a challenging time for creditors of all companies and are endeavouring to quantify debts and identify and realise the value of any assets for the ultimate benefit of creditors”.

Do you know more or have a similar story? Get in touch | alex.turner-cohen@news.com.au

Weeks before Christmas last year, news.com.au reported that all 30 cabinet makers at the company’s Wetherill Park factory were “unceremoniously dumped”.

Emotions ran high, with one worker telling news.com.au at the time “it was very sad to see grown men crying”.

In May, Himlad Pty Ltd, linked to the GDK Group of companies, went into voluntary liquidation with debts of $29.8 million, according to a statutory report filed with the corporate regulator.

Although the liquidator of Himlad, Daniel Quinn, did not respond to requests for comment, his report to ASIC indicated that staff are owed $2.1 million, including $885,000 in unpaid superannuation.

All workers’ payroll and leave entitlements switched over to Joinery Manufacturing Solutions Pty Ltd.

Since then, the tax office has forcibly wound up multiple other companies in the Federal Court.

In July, three other companies went into voluntary liquidation – Nevrast Pty Ltd formerly trading as Imprint Furniture, Dorlomin formerly trading as Imprint Systems and Avernien Pty Ltd formerly trading as GDK Ventures. Liquidation reports say these companies were part of the GDK Group.

At the end of November, the Federal Court ordered two more companies to go belly up and Henry McKenna of insolvency firm Vincents was nominated as the liquidator.

Hithlum Pty Ltd formerly known as GDK Group (Global) Pty Ltd was ordered to go into liquidation due to unpaid tax debts of $261,000 while Thargeliou Pty Ltd formerly known as Imprint Street (Australia) Pty Ltd had $90,000 in unpaid taxes.

In early December, Ossiriand Pty Ltd was ordered to go into liquidation. The liquidators Alan Hayes and Wayne Marshall of Hayes Advisory have been contacted for comment.

Another slew of businesses collapsed by court order several days later – GDK Group Pty Ltd, Belegaer Pty Ltd, GDK Projects Pty Ltd and GDK Holdings.

alex.turner-cohen@news.com.au

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