Mastersoft restructure leaves staff fuming

Company held support contracts with major government agencies and corporates

The assets of Mastersoft Systems Ltd appear to have been transferred to Mastersoft (NZ) Ltd, leaving employees of the former company thousands of dollars out of pocket.

The restructure involved a series of convoluted name changes that appear to have involved a shelf company. Staff say they have not received their full entitlements.

Mastersoft Systems was the operating company that held the support contracts with customers such as NZ Post, the Ministries of Justice and Health, and Telecom. Computerworld understands it had been funded over the years by two Australian entities, primarily Mastersoft Systems Pty Ltd, the main trading vehicle in Australia, and Mastersoft Research Pty Ltd, the owner of the intellectual property.

These latter two companies were placed in voluntary administration in May by the directors.

All three companies were owned by an Australian holding company, Mastersoft International Pty Ltd, which was not in administration at the time.

A search of the Companies Office shows that Mastersoft Systems Ltd sold its assets on June 13 into GPIC Investments, which then changed its name to Mastersoft (NZ) Ltd. Its new shareholder is Mastersoft Group Pty Ltd.

Also in June, Mastersoft in Australia was sold to Vix Technology for $A700,000.

In a subsequent press release, Vix Technology said the new company, Mastersoft Group Pty Ltd, would continue to service all existing customers, while further developing the Harmony data quality platform and pursuing new business opportunities.

Computerworld has been told that late in May Mastersoft Systems raised invoices in New Zealand for $130,000.

It has been suggested that contracts were moved across to the new company, along with the cash.

Two staff have told Computerworld they settled for less than their entitlements. A third staff member who alleges he is owed more than $40,000, says he has instructed a lawyer to take legal action.

The director of Mastersoft (NZ) Ltd, John Paterson, says in response to inquiries from Computerworld that Mastersoft Systems Ltd (now named Ledge 1 Ltd) ceased trading on 15 June 2011.

He says a new company, Mastersoft (NZ) Ltd [Mastersoft (NZ) Ltd], a company which is not related to Ledge 1 Ltd, acquired some of the assets and liabilities of Mastersoft Systems Ltd.

“On 15 June 2011, MS(NZ) made offers to all of the employees of Mastersoft Systems Ltd.

All but one of those employees accepted those offers.

The single employee who has yet to accept MS (NZ) Ltd’s offer is currently negotiating a settlement in relation to that offer,” he wrote in an email.

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