Chasing Doblo?s $1m payout

By FRAZER PEARCE ? SOLICITORS are taking legal action to recover more than $1 million in alleged "unfair preferential'' payments made to 11 creditors of the former Les Doblo's supermarkets.

Knights insolvency liquidator Jonathan McLeod wrote to all creditors of the failed Rockhampton supermarket chain last week, advising that a number of payments had come under scrutiny.

"My investigations to date have identified payments to 11 creditors totalling $1,101,203 that I consider have received an unfair preference over the company's other creditors,'' he said in the letter.

"I have engaged Deacons Solicitors to act as my lawyers in this matter and have instructed them to proceed with the recovery process.''

He said preferential payments were amounts more than the creditors would have received if they were to lodge a "proof of debt'' in the winding up of the company, therefore, he said, they had received a preference over the company's other creditors.

Doblo's owed about $10 million when creditors voted unanimously for the company's three Rockhampton retail and distribution outlets to be wound up last year.

Yesterday, a director of a Central Queensland company owed in excess of $40,000 by Doblo's, said he held little hope of getting his money back. "I'm angry about it (the alleged preferential payments),'' he said. "I haven't received a red cent yet.''

In his letter Mr McLeod told creditors the estimated recovery rate of claims against the 11 creditors was 50% to 70%.

He also said he doubted ordinary unsecured creditors of either Doblo's Dispatch or Doblo's Northside would receive a dividend while those creditors of Doblo's Mega Market (Fruitfly) may get a small return.

On July 16, 2004, Knights told creditors they would get a dividend of about 5.8c in the dollar.

Attempts to contact Knights and former Les Doblo's owner Dominic Doblo were unsuccessful.



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