It's been almost four months since Glenda Wynyard and her company The Media Counsel ceased trading. And on 22 April Boris van Delden and Iain McLennan of "insolvency and business recovery experts" McDonald Vague (MVP) were finally appointed as liquidators.
Despite the appointment, things are still about as clear as mud: insolvency accountant Shafkat Mahbub says they have not been able to get access to any documents, which are still locked up inside the building. The landlord took ownership of the it, locked it up and, according to his lawyers, isn't in Auckland.
"All the company records are on the premises at the moment. And we have a statutory requirement to file a report within five [working] days of liquidation," he says.
That means a report, which is sent out to all known creditors and, in MVP's case, as many suppliers as they can find, is due on Wednesday. Of course, the liquidators are yet to see any of the documents, which makes it close to impossible to get it done although Mahbub hopes to get access to the building in the next few days.
Iain McLennan, a consultant at MVP, says it doesn't want to file a "nothing report" and generally tries to avoid getting the courts involved if it's only a going to be a matter of a few days. But if it's going to be months before access is granted by the landlord, the company will attempt to gain a court order to open the doors. Usually, he says, landlords re-enter properties when they're owed money and he thinks that is the case in this situation.
"We're fast running out of time," he says.
When asked why it took so long to appoint a liquidator, McLennan and Mahbub were both unsure. McLennan says he met with Wynyard last Wednesday for a couple of hours and she was very forthcoming with information (once MVP takes over, she won't be involved in any of the liquidation process).
StopPress has heard rumours that Wynyard was working in media somewhere in Australia, but we were unable to confirm them. McLennan says Wynyard told him she was currently working, but she expected that to cease once the liquidation started. He couldn't comment on the Australian rumour. "She wasn't in Australia last Wednesday anyway."
When the documents are finally seen, the first thing to focus on will be getting the accounting issues up to date, he says. "There are a significant amount of debtors", and he says it's important to find out whether those debts have been collected by Carat/Aegis, which Wynyard struck up a deal with to take on the Media Counsel's bookings when she lost her PMAA accreditation last year.
"We know they've collected some and they're holding a sum of money, probably around $500,000-600,000."
He says this is pending resolution from a debt factoring company, in this case Marac, which appears to have taken on some debt when The Media Counsel's cashflow was running low last September. He says this isn't recommended and "there seemed to be a great big money grab". Marac isn't owed anything, he says, "but watch this space".
McLennan can't say how much is owed to creditors until the documents are viewed and the accountancy issues are sorted. But, despite the announcement of the liquidation last week, he hasn't heard from many creditors yet.
Creditors have until 31 May to put in their invoices and prove their debts. Creditor forms are available here or call Mahbub on 09 969 5335
Of course, liquidations and bankruptcies are serious matters. Except here. Oh, and occasionally on StopPress. With the supposed but unconfirmed flight of Glenda Wynyard to the Lucky Country, we've enlisted the help of a psychic to predict what she might now look like. You'll be amazed at the transformation.