Restaurant franchise Billy Baxter’s faces an uncertain future after it was placed into provisional liquidation, as it struggles to pay a $1.2 million damages claim.
According to adelaidenow.com.au, all 21 Billy Baxter’s stores across the country – including 15 in Adelaide – are in the hands of individual operators, with a provisional liquidator appointed to Billy Baxter’s.
Get business news first
Sign up to SmartCompany’s daily newsletter
Federal Court Registrar Patricia Christie said there was enough evidence to show Billy Baxter’s was transferring assets in the weeks after it became liable for the $1.2 million damages claim.
These transfers have thrown into doubt the company’s ability to pay the claim, which is owed to Ross and Sue Pollard for the collapse of their franchise in Adelaide suburb Genelg.
The franchisor’s representative, Phillip Mauviel, anticipated a turnover for the business of $1.3 million, and suggested turnover would allow the business to pay the rent and return a profit.
These representations – made during the course of negotiations for the site at Glenelg – drew comparisons with an existing Billy Baxter’s outlet in Norwood, another Adelaide suburb.
However, the Pollards’ Glenelg franchise suffered losses, which meant they were unable to pay the fees due under the franchise agreement.
They then terminated the franchise agreement, which led to a lengthy legal battle.
Ross Pollard told StartupSmart on Monday he and his wife have lost “hundreds of thousands of dollars” as a result of the legal battle.
“From the time it started – because of Billy Baxter’s unwillingness to cooperate – it’s taken six years to get to this point,” he said.
“What I want Billy Baxter’s to do is get their chequebook out and pay the money.”
Correction: Contrary to an erroneous report on StartupSmart yesterday, Billy Baxter’s parent company, Paradise Retail Holdings, is not itself in provisional liquidation. We apologise to Paradise Retail Holdings for this mistake.