Craig Gore dodges bankruptcy with record insolvency deal, despite debts of $494 million

Fallen Gold Coast entrepreneur Craig Gore has managed to dodge bankruptcy after his creditors agreed to the biggest ever personal insolvency arrangement ever seen in Australia.

While Gore’s 91 creditors were owed a staggering $494 million, Gore’s bankruptcy trustee Max Prentice has managed to get creditors to agree to a deal where they will be paid $3.3 million over three years – a return of just 0.66c in the dollar.

Gore will be required to pay $300,000 within 14 days, while the remaining amount will be paid in 36 instalments over the next three years. Creditors will also receive 30% of the profits from one of Gore’s unit trusts.

Prentice, who estimated creditors would have received as little as $400,000 if they had made Gore bankrupt, said in his report the insolvency agreement would allow Gore to restructure his career without the stigma of being bankrupt.

Gore told the Gold Coast Bulletin he was relieved creditors had agreed to the deal.

“This is the best I’ve got to offer. I have nothing more to give.”

According to reports, Gore’s deal has been made possible with the support of two overseas backers who now hold substantial shares in his remaining business interests – Kevin Kalkhoven and Lord Michael Ashcroft, who was reported to be owed $135 million by Gore.

The fall in Gore’s fortunes was further highlighted by the sad tale of his statement of affairs.

Just three years after Gore was on the BRW Rich 200 list with a fortune of $183 million, Gore’s assets were estimated at just $470,241, the bulk of which is tied up in a single property.

According to the statement of affairs, Gore had just $100 in cash, $291 in his bank accounts, $60,000 worth of motor vehicles (including a Ford V8 Supercar left over from when the high-flying Gore owned a racing car team) and $7,200 worth of watches.

Gore also owns artwork and shares worth unspecified amounts.

Gore was previously declared bankrupt in 1992 but had that bankruptcy annulled in 1999 through another personal insolvency agreement, in which creditors received 11c in the dollar.

He then started to claw his way back towards the top of the Gold Coast business scene through his property development and finance group Atkinson Gore and his financial services firm Wright Patton Shakespeare.

But like many entrepreneurs on the Gold Coast, the global financial crisis hit Gore’s interests hard.

In February 2009, prominent developer City Pacific – which has since collapsed itself – placed Atkinson Gore and a number of its subsidiaries in receivership, triggering a wave of collapses of Gore companies.

It has been reported he gave guarantees to as many as 101 companies, meaning the initial receiverships created something of a domino effect.

In June 2010, Gore hit the headlines again after the liquidator of one of his companies, Secured Capital & Finance, claimed the company was running “something akin to a Ponzi scheme”.

Gore emphatically denied the allegation.

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