PC Power has gone into receivership, but its two directors have set up two new separate companies and have bought the assets, stock and goodwill of their defunct company.
Graham Caspersonn is now director of new company, PC Power Newmarket, and Gerard de Silva is running the new PC Power North Shore. While at least one supplier is angry at the move, the receiver, Ray Burgess of Burgess and Associates, and Caspersonn, say it is legal and it’s the best way for creditors get the best pay-out, by ensuring the best values are achieved, as opposed to lower prices at auction.
Caspersonn says they negotiated with the receiver — who brought in an independent valuer — for the assets, stock and goodwill.
He says the receivership occurred partly because of the costs of expanding into Link Drive last year and buying Advantage Computers. He says the expected benefits of having two locations ended up being costs. PC Power tried to cut costs last year and made staff reductions.
Burgess says the indebtedness should not be significantly greater than $300,000.
He says the directors had taken a lot of care to minimise the loss for customers and it’s likely none will lose money
Caspersonn says he doesn’t want to see any customers hurt.
Burgess also says there is “a good possibility of a reasonable pay-out” for suppliers.
One of the creditors, MEC, supplied PC Power with Panasonic printers and other components.
MEC GM Brian Grounsell says MEC is owed $41,000, a debt it has been chasing since May, when a cheque bounced.
Although it is legal for the PC Power directors to open new businesses, he doesn’t believe it is morally right. “I think the whole thing stinks.”
Grounsell says he will not supply the two new PC Power companies, but he is aware some suppliers are.
He says he is sick of seeing cases where creditors are burnt. “It doesn’t do our industry any good at all in terms of reputation.”
Grounsell believes there are about 10 creditors and is keen to hear from them.
Caspersonn says the option PC Power took was the best way to get as much money for creditors as possible.
“We’re basically very sorry for the situation with creditors and it’s a genuine feeling ... It’s not a run-away-and-hide type thing.”
He says the closure was inevitable. It possibly went on longer than it should have under the old structure. “This is an attempt to recover something out of it.”
He says he is the largest unsecured creditor of PC Power.
Speaking only for PC Power Newmarket, Caspersonn says he sees the new company as a viable business. All the Newmarket staff were re-hired.
Caspersonn says he would like to honour warranties from PC Power, but has to take legal advice on whether that would be seen as preferential creditor treatment.
Caspersonn is coy about why heand de are Silva going separate ways. “Basically a partnership is a very difficult thing and stresses and strains on a partnership, I guess, tell. That’s about all I can say.”
Computerworld was unable to contact de Silva by deadline.
He and Caspersonn bought PC Power in 1995, after it went into receivership under previous owners.