Allied Brands comeback?

Collapsed franchise brand manager Allied Brands remains listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, so getting any information out of the administrators has not been easy – basically, everything they can formally announce has to go through the ASX.

So this morning we learned that the administrators (Peter Dinoris and Peter Biazos of Brisbane firm Vincents) will apply to the Queensland Supreme Court to postpone the second creditors meeting of the company and get more time to investigate its affairs.

Apparently it’s a pretty messy matter (no surprise there, given how Allied was run) with 26 intertwined subsidiaries, $19 million of secured creditors and 91 unsecured creditors.

The administrators also report that Allied Brands and “various subsidiaries” have entered into management agreements and sales agreements with third parties, which could suggest that ownership of bits of the business is up in the air.

But the really staggering statement is at the bottom of the administrator’s statement: “Proposals for a deed of company arrangement that include a Creditor’s Trust are being formulated by interested parties, however complete proposals are yet to be finalised.”

Deed of company arrangement deals are typically put in place when interested parties (directors, creditors or other stakeholders) want to have a go at getting the business up and running again. To get this over the line, those who propose the deed have to convince creditors that this is a better alternative to liquidating or winding up the company.

For those who have followed the Allied saga, the idea that someone – or more than one party – is interested in trying to resurrect the thing is more than a little surprising, particularly given the mess that the administrators have described.

Given Allied has lost the Baskin Robbins franchise and the Cookie Man chain, exactly what there is to bring back to life isn’t clear.

Let’s hope the administrators provide some more detail about this potential new twist in the sorry Allied tale.

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