Coffee and chocolate chain Oliver Brown has collapsed as a result of a shareholder dispute but two stores continue to trade.
Jirsch Sutherland was appointed as the administrator of the chain this week and a first meeting of the creditors will be held on July 25.
Michael Samarasinghe, senior manager at Jirsch Sutherland, told SmartCompany that Oliver Brown ceased to trade as a company two months prior to the administrators appointment.
He says the coffee and chocolate chain sold its assets and intellectual property to two other companies, one trading from Top Ryde City and the other from Chatswood Westfield in Sydney.
“In our capacity as administrators we don’t intend to occupy the lease of those premises. The companies which have purchased the intellectual property will carry on the business of the company,” says Samarasinghe.
“The companies which took on the business took on all the trade creditors so what is left in the shell is tax debt and a few miscellaneous creditors.”
Oliver Brown offered chocolate made in Belgium along with freshly roasted coffee and the chain’s website boasts of a “phenomenal” growth rate for the company.
However, Samarasinghe says the cause of the collapse was a dispute between a minority shareholder and the director of the company.
“There was a shareholders dispute and that litigation had just taken its toll on the company’s financial position,” he says.
Samarasinghe says the collapse is not a result of difficult conditions in the chocolate or coffee sectors, although it does follow hot on the heels of the recent administration iconic chocolate and confectionary brand Darrell Lea.