Strathfield rises out of administration

Car stereo and mobile phone retailer Strathfield has emerged from voluntary administration and may soon be trading again on the Australian Securities Exchange after creditors approved a rescue bid from investor Tony Hakim. Under a deal announced to the market late Friday, creditors have agreed to a deed of company arrangement backed by Hakim and his company Clear Communications, which is also the largest shareholder in Strathfield.

Under the deal, Clear Communications will pay Strathfield’s secured creditor, GE Money, $4.45 million and give it 200 million shares in the company.

The company’s unsecured creditors, who had claims of $17.2 million, have not fared as well – they will receive just 3c in the dollar, plus the proceeds from the sale of 50 million Strathfield shares in 12 months time. Based on Strathfield’s share price before it collapsed in January, those shares could be worth as little as $1.5 million.

The total cost of funding the deed of company arrangement is $2.8 million, which will be guaranteed by Hakim’s property.

Strathfield plans to apply for re-instatement to the ASX “in due course”.

The company’s chairman, Vaz Hovanessian, praised the work of Clear Communications and Strathfield’s administrators, BRI Ferrier.

“The emergence from (voluntary administration) within a period of less than six weeks is a credit to all of the stakeholders and participants who have worked extremely hard to ensure the achievement of a (deed of company arrangement) which has saved some 300 jobs and a company that has been a household name for over two decades.”

Hakim says the company will soon begin bundling products such as plasma televisions, iPods, laptops and security cameras in packages to suit the home office and small business markets.

“We want to bring it back to its old glory,” Hakim told The Australian.

“A lot of people put a lot of money into it over the years. We are confident over the next 12 to 18 months the people will regain the value.”

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