Buyer found for Trans Tasman, Main Report newsletters

Article – BusinessDesk

Dec. 19 (BusinessDesk) – The liquidator of the Main Report, Trans Tasman and associated newsletters says it has found a buyer for the assets of the group, which failed after being unable to meet its tax bill.Buyer found for Trans Tasman, Main Report newsletters, liquidators say

By Jonathan Underhill

Dec. 19 (BusinessDesk) – The liquidator of the Main Report, Trans Tasman and associated newsletters says it has found a buyer for the assets of the group, which failed after being unable to meet its tax bill.

The buyer isn’t identified in the liquidator’s first report, which says it has “entered into a sale and purchase agreement for a modest sum.” Shareholder and director Max Bowden had been trying to sell the business over the course of the last year but hadn’t been able to negotiate a successful sale, Wendy Somerville of PwC said in the report. The sale was agreed when the liquidator went back to the same interested parties.

Inland Revenue sought the liquidation of Christchurch-based Media Information, Trans Tasman Media and The Main Report, which publishes a series of weekly industry-specific newsletters, including the Trans Tasman political newsletter, which has been running since 1968, penned in part by the longest-serving member of the Parliamentary press gallery, Ian Templeton.

Somerville said in her report that the companies were also in arrears on rent and the liquidator had arranged to vacate their Christchurch premises by Dec. 11. A senior staff member on site had helped in the collection of the companies’ books and records. The assets were listed as mastheads, website domain names, publishing software and subscription databases

The report says the companies’ financial statements for the year ended March 31 show “a significantly overdrawn current account which we are currently investigating.” The liquidator will also be looking at the books to determine if there were any insolvent transactions or breaches of legislation.

It said several staff members were employed on a contract basis and as a result their claims rank as unsecured claims in the liquidation, rather than being preferential creditors as employees.

The report shows Inland Revenue’s claim against the Main Report for outstanding GST, Kiwisaver employee deductions and contributions, PAYE deductions, student loan employer deductions and superannuation contribution tax stood at about $43,000. Media Information owed about $16,500 for GST and income tax and Trans Tasman owed about $157,000 for outstanding GST, dividend withholding tax, income tax, Kiwisaver contributions and deductions, PAYE and employee superannuation.

Along with IRD, other known creditors including IT and printing firms, NZ Post, UDC Finance, Flexirent Capital, the Canterbury Chamber of Commerce and various contributors to the newsletters.

Like other industry-specific publishers, the Main Report’s newsletters have operated on a subscription model largely eschewed by New Zealand’s mainstream media outlets.

(BusinessDesk)

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