Best­jet mys­tery deep­ens

Travel Daily - - Front Page -

CON­TRO­VERSY con­tin­ues to swirl around the col­lapsed Best­jet Travel Pty Ltd (TD 18 Dec 2018), with the com­pany’s ad­min­is­tra­tors cit­ing “ev­i­dence that 50% of the shares were held on trust for Ms Rachel James”.

That’s de­spite the widely an­nounced 100% sale of the busi­ness less than six weeks be­fore its col­lapse to McVicker In­ter­na­tional (TD 06 Nov 2018) and claims by James that her fam­ily had “re­lin­quished con­trol” fol­low­ing a two-month pe­riod of au­dit and busi­ness ad­vice pro­vided by ac­count­ing firm BDO prior to the Nov han­dover.

Min­utes of the fiery first meet­ing of cred­i­tors (TD 03 Jan) which have now been re­leased by ASIC also state pre­lim­i­nary es­ti­mates of more than $14 mil­lion in un­se­cured cred­i­tors, in­clud­ing $7.28 mil­lion owed to 2,300 peo­ple by Best­jet Travel Pty Ltd and $7.06 mil­lion owed by sub­sidiary Wyn­yard Travel Pty Ltd.

The ad­min­is­tra­tors from Bris­bane ac­count­ing firm Pi­lot Part­ners said debtors claimed by the com­pany’s di­rec­tor, Robert McVicker, in­clude $3.2 mil­lion owed by Sabre Asia Pa­cific Pte Ltd - but these funds are sub­ject to an agree­ment with a Sin­ga­pore­based com­pany also named Best­jet Travel Pte Ltd.

This Sin­ga­pore en­tity is still in op­er­a­tion, and Rachel James is a di­rec­tor of the com­pany along­side Sin­ga­pore cit­i­zens Nancy Tan and Unikr­ish­nan Su­gandhi.

In­ter­est­ingly, all of the shares in Sin­ga­pore-based Best­jet Travel Pte Ltd are held by yet an­other Aus­tralian com­pany called Best­jet Travel Hold­ings Pty Ltd.

Rachel James is the sole di­rec­tor and 100% share­holder of this com­pany, which has not been placed into ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The Best­jet Travel Pty Ltd ad­min­is­tra­tors said they had ter­mi­nated any agency agree­ment ex­ist­ing be­tween Sabre and the Sin­ga­porean Best­jet and de­manded the re­bates be paid di­rectly to them on be­half of the col­lapsed firm.

They cited sev­eral rea­sons for the col­lapse, in­clud­ing the non­re­ceipt of the Sabre re­bate, the cash-flow im­pact of con­sol­ida­tor CVFR seek­ing daily, rather than weekly pay­ments, and the loss of about $4 mil­lion in turnover due to Skyscan­ner re­mov­ing Best­jet from its search re­sults for a two day pe­riod.

Pi­lot Part­ners said their in­ves­ti­ga­tions were con­tin­u­ing, par­tic­u­larly not­ing probes into re­bates ow­ing, the com­pany’s call cen­tre and “re­lated party trans­ac­tions”.

They noted that the com­pany had a “high vol­ume of trans­ac­tions with a low profit mar­gin” and said that in the ab­sence of any pro­posed Deed of Com­pany Ar­range­ment they ex­pect they are likely to rec­om­mend the liq­ui­da­tion of the busi­ness.

A fur­ther re­port will be is­sued to cred­i­tors later this month.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.