A number of companies associated with the Wollongong-based property development group Wideform have been placed in administration with debts of around $58 million.
The company, which has operations in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria and employs around 700 people, is now in the hands of administrators from insolvency firm BRI Ferrier. In total, 10 Wideform entities based in NSW, Brisbane and North Queensland have collapsed.
According to reports, banks are owed $23 million, trade creditors are owed $14 million, the Tax Office is owed $12 million and employees are owed $9 million.
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Administrator Brian Silva blamed the collapse on the termination of a series of formwork contracts by a major client. According to media reports, construction giant Bovis Lend Lease cancelled a contract across five sites in Sydney, Newcastle and in Queensland about two weeks ago.
“The administrators will be working closely with Wideform’s financier, clients, builders and the CFMEU to preserve as many jobs as possible and to ensure the interests of all stakeholders are protected,” he said in a statement.
A spokesman for the administrators says work will continue on current projects as the administrators investigate the group’s position with a view to a restructure.
“The main objective is keeping the 700 employees employed,” the spokesman says.
Wideform’s managing director and founder Fred Ferreira, who came to Australia in the early 1970s from Portugal, is one of the Wollongong region’s best-known business people.
Wideform was listed on BRW magazine’s Top 500 Private Companies list in 2007 with revenue of $151 million.
Property, Construction and engineering, Insolvency, Wideform