Unpaid tax bill triggers collapse of Tasmanian drilling company with $4.6 million turnover

Administrators have been appointed to a Tasmanian drilling company after the company director and owner was slapped with a penalty notice for unpaid tax.

Apache Services is based in Hobart and specialises in horizontal directional drilling, trenching and civil services. It has an average annual turnover of $4.6 million.

Lawler Draper Dillon was appointed as administrator for Apache Services on May 16 and placed advertisements today seeking offers for the business.

Lawler Draper Dillon is looking to sell it as a going concern and the sale includes all the assets and intellectual property of the company.

These assets include motor vehicles, excavators, stock, drilling rigs, trucks and trailers.

Glenn Franklin, administrator at Lawler Draper Dillon, told SmartCompany the company’s director and owner, John Herbert, appointed administrators after he was issued with a penalty from the ATO for unpaid tax.

“There was an arrears in tax and he was issued with a director’s penalty notice from the ATO and that was the main reason for him putting the company into administration,” Franklin says.

Apache Services has a total of 105 creditors that are owed a total of $1.1 million dollars, including $185,000 owed to the ATO and $155,000 owed to Tasmanian State Revenue.

Franklin says there are about 30 employees at Apache Services but, for now, it is “business as usual” as the company completes projects and the administrator is looking at the employees moving to a new purchaser.

“We have had some interest from a number of different parties both in Tasmania and from Australia and generally,” says Franklin.

Lawler Draper Dillon is looking at the 30 employees moving across to a new purchaser, but Franklin says it is unclear whether Herbert will also stay on.

“I don’t know; he is assisting me with the operations of the business and trading and he is assisting me with completing projects” says Franklin.

Lawler Draper Dillon has called for offers to be submitted by June 8.

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