The liquidators of the Mainzeal group of companies that started collapsing on Waitangi Day in 2013 have rejected $16.7 million of claims, or about 11 per cent of what's sought by out-of-pocket creditors.
BDO’s Andrew Bethell, who was appointed liquidator of the Mainzeal group, said his team has reviewed 1,223 of the more than 1,400 claims from creditors owed $153m, rejecting about a tenth of them, according to the latest report on the administration.
Bethell is looking to realise any remaining receivables, and is pursuing legal action against Mainzeal’s former directors, which will determine what, if anything, is paid out to creditors.
The liquidator filed papers in the High Court against Mainzeal’s former directors, including ex-Prime Minister Jenny Shipley, principal Richard Yan, one-time Brierley Investments head Paul Collins, Mainzeal chief Peter Gomm, and Clive Tilby, claiming they breached their duties in relation to a series of restructuring two years before Mainzeal’s collapse, reckless trading, and claims against other parties.
All of Mainzeal’s preferential creditors, including staff and Inland Revenue, have been paid.
The Mainzeal liquidators have had to contend with court action from the construction group’s principal, Richard Yan, who opposed the inclusion of Richina Global Real Estate (RGRE) and Isola Vineyards to the administration.
Last year, the Court of Appeal upheld Yan’s bid to set aside the liquidation of RGRE and exclude Isola Vineyards, saying it was premature to do so before disputed debts were determined.
The December 2012 restructure saw the $15.2m debt owed to Mainzeal Property & Construction transferred to MGL Trading in exchange for shares.
Related companies Mainzeal Property & Construction and Mainzeal Living were tipped into receivership on Feb. 6, 2013, and 200 Vic joined them on Feb. 13.
The receivership of Mainzeal Property & Construction left a surplus of $1.1m for the liquidators of the wider group, who represent unsecured creditors. The receivers were appointed by BNZ, which was owed $11.3m.