An investigation into the affairs of independent retailer Pressed Juices is underway this morning as court-appointed liquidators seek to untangle a web of corporations which allegedly underpaid workers.
Last Friday a NSW court appointed liquidators from Cor Cordis to Pressed Juices Holdings Pty Ltd, a company which is understood to control several other entities associated with the chain.
The development is the latest investigation to be undertaken into Pressed Juices after ASIC published a series of deregistration notices related to the business in December last year.
Pressed Juices Holdings is listed as wholly owned by deregistered company Pressed Juices Investments, while Vincent ‘Leo’ Pegoli, a businessman with longstanding involvement with the brand, is listed as sole director.
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Pegoli is also listed as the director of deregistered companies VPMP Investments Pty Ltd and Pressed Juices Manufacturing & Production Pty Ltd.
Another company associated with the chain, Pressed Juices Retail Pty Ltd, also lists Pegoli as its sole director and remains actively trading, according to records published by the corporate regulator.
It is not the first time Pressed Juices has undertaken corporate restructuring. Back in 2016, the company was placed into administration by Pegoli, a move which triggered an investigation into a 2014 transfer of company assets to yet another business.
More than 30 credit inquiries have built up for Pressed Juices Holdings over the last 12 months, CreditorWatch data reveals. Payment defaults have also started building up, valued at more than $20,000 as suppliers continue to bill the company.
At its height, Pressed Juices maintained about 22 stores across the country, predominately in Victoria and NSW, employing more than 100 staff. The company was featured in publications such as Broadsheet, spruiked as a disruptive player bringing the cold-pressed juice trend to the Australian market.
However, allegations surfaced late last year that Pressed Juices had underpaid many of its workers, with details published by Junkee, which also revealed a tangled web of companies own various aspects of the business.
It is not known whether workers have been back paid for any possible underpayments, but the company has a history of restructuring, placed into administration back in 2016.
Additional information about the status of the investigation is expected on Monday afternoon.