Creditors take to Facebook in campaign to get money back from Retail Adventures
Creditors of Jan Cameron's beleaguered Retail Adventures chain are leading a Facebook campaign to attempt to get their money back.
Retail Adventures went into voluntary administration earlier this month with the appointment of Deloitte as administrators and owes trade creditors $96.9 million.
The creditors set up a Facebook page last week called "Retail Adventures Creditors Unite" although the page has only garnered 10 "likes" so far.
The page aims to distribute information about the administration program and includes complaints that the first creditors' meeting to be held on November 7 did not include teleconferencing or a record of the meeting.
The page states: "The first creditor meeting is basically a nightmare. Giving more information on how unsecured creditors will suffer further."
The administration process has come under fire from creditors as Cameron has been granted a licence to run 238 of the discount chain's stores by Deloitte.
She is a secured creditor of Retail Adventures, while there are 1,700 unsecured trade creditors and 318 landlords.
The Facebook page also claims there is a conflict of interest in the administration process: "The current administrator was the same administrator (company) who sold Australian Discount Retail to Jan [Cameron]. Is this a conflict of interest? Something smells fishy here!"
Kathmandu founder Cameron bought ADR back in 2009 for just over $100 million following its collapse.
Voluntary administrator Vaughan Strawbridge disputed the claims made on the Facebook page and told SmartCompany the sale of ADR was managed by the receiver Ferrier Hodgson, not Deloitte.
"Deloitte was the voluntary administrator of ADR. This was more than three years ago and there is no independence issue," he says.
Above: The Retail Adventures Creditors Unite Facebook page.
Although teleconference facilities were not available for creditors who could not attend the creditors' meeting, Strawbridge denies there was a lack of communication surrounding the meeting.
"The first creditor meetings were held in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, with a teleconference facility linking Melbourne and Brisbane to Sydney," he says.
"The bulk of Retail Adventures' operations are across NSW, Victoria and Queensland and having meetings in all three cities was regarded as the best way to allow as many creditors as possible to attend.
"The presentation given to creditors was made available the next day on the Deloitte website."
Strawbridge says creditors have also since been advised by letter of the voluntary administrator's intention to seek an extension of the convening period from the Federal Court.
The extension of time is being sought to allow sufficient time to conduct a sale of the business.
If the request for an extension is granted the second creditors' meeting will take place no later than February 28, 2013.
At the first creditors' meeting, creditors also elected a committee of creditors representing suppliers, landlords and employees which will liaise with Deloitte on a regular basis.
Read more about Jan Cameron and Retail Adventures on Kevin Moore's blog today.