Cash flow

Commercial refrigeration business with 50 staff calls in administrators

Melinda Oliver /

NSW-based commercial refrigeration and air conditioning business Nu-Tech Group has entered voluntary administration following challenging times in the construction sector.

The business, which has done work for Coles, Aldi and Woolworths, appointed administrator Ian Purchas from SV Partners, on April 2, with the first meeting of creditors due to be held on April 14.

Purchas told SmartCompany this morning he and the management team of Nu-Tech were confident the business could get back on track.

“I was appointed late last Wednesday and we are still assessing the level of debt and focusing on getting on top of the finances,” he says.

Purchas declined to reveal the amount of debt at this stage but says the company has turnover of over $20 million. He says the business “has not collapsed”, and it is still trading and all 50 staff are still employed.

He says at this stage there is no consideration of ceasing trading and the expectation is the company will continue.

Purchas says common causes led to the Nu-Tech’s financial troubles, including tighter margins, competition, customers having lots of choice and legacy global financial crisis debt. He says in such a challenging environment, any disruption in supply can cause damage.

“Our main concern at this stage is continuing to trade, making sure that the staff are comfortable with the situation… and having the suppliers trade with me as administrator,” he says.

Nu-Tech registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission in 2003. It supplies air conditioning, electrical services, coolrooms, and design and installation services and has done work for big name businesses including IGA, Campbells Cash & Carry, Red Rooster, United Petroleum, Hungry Jack’s and others.

It employs service technicians, installation mechanics, refrigeration mechanics, electricians, coolroom builders and project managers. The company also engages subcontractors.

The company has two offices – one in Wetherill Park, NSW, and another in Endeavour Hills, Victoria.

In June last year, another air-conditioning business, Advanced AirCon, went into administration, impacted by the collapse of builder Reed Construction.

In February this year, Rheem Australia announced it would close its Australian air-conditioning business, Accent Air, which is based in Liverpool, with operations planned to cease before the middle of 2014.

“The closure is a consequence of a number of factors, particularly the high cost of manufacturing in Australia for an air-conditioning market that is increasingly dominated by cheaper imports,” Rheem Australia chief executive Matt Sexton said in a statement.

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