Aussie arm of UK trailer maker goes bust
A UK manufacturer specialising in trailers and other commercial vehicles set up shop in Australia three years ago as part of its ambitious global expansion plans.
But the privately-owned Cartwright Group has come has come to grief Down Under.
Their Australian arm collapsed this week, with Brisbane-based David Orr from bean-counting outfit Deloitte appointed as liquidator.
Orr didn't return a call seeking comment on Thursday so it's not clear what caused the crash or how much is owing to unsecured creditors.
We tracked down a former company executive but he declined to discuss the issue.
It's a sad development for the privately-owned group, which launched near Manchester in 1952 and touted itself as one of Britain's leading truck, trailer and conversion manufacturers.
Third-generation boss Mark Cartwright took the helm in 2013 and within four years had claimed to boost revenue by 50 per cent with a team of 1000 employees building up to 100 trailers every week.
But with limited expansion opportunities in the UK, he turned to overseas markets, including Europe, South America and the United Arab Emirates. Starting in mid-2017, refrigerated trailers were dispatched to Australia.
"When looking at potential new markets around the world, Australia had the operational requirements we could meet with our quality and product solutions, so we knew our trailers would be very competitive,'' Cartwright said back then.
"Our sales director had worked on projects in Australia before with the local importer. We were confident that we could set up an Australian-based arrangement to supply trailers into the market and offer customers a great service with a great product.''
Michael Omeros and his gang at Brisbane tech mob Over The Wire are on the hunt for a bit more of the folding stuff.
As the company went in to trading halt on Thursday, we learned it's aiming to raise $25m via a placement and share purchase plan.
Investors will be tempted to jump in at just $4 a share, a decent discount to its most recent close at $4.26.
Over The Wire, which provides telecommunications, cloud and IT services across Australia and New Zealand, raised $10m when it floated in late 2015 and has grown steadily through a series of acquisitions since then.
But net profit fell by more than half to just $5m in the last financial year even as revenue climbed 10 per cent to $87.6m
It's certainly not the first headache for Omeros and colleague Brent Paddon.
These gents won a legal battle last year against a young IT business partner who sought to recover more than $48m in damages after alleging he had been financially shafted ahead of the IPO.
A Brisbane Supreme Court judge threw out the claim and described the applicant as an arrogant and chronic liar.
Brisbane-based super fund LGIASuper has replaced one director with plenty of local government experience for another well-schooled in the same area.
Greg Hallam, who has spent the past 26 years as boss of the Local Government Association of Queensland, signed on as a director this week.
He takes over for former Brisbane City Council member Matthew Bourke, who spent four years with the super fund, which oversees more than $12bn in savings for about 75,000 members.
Hallam, a former director of the Queensland Treasury Corporation, comes to the job after stints in Federal Treasury, the National Office of Local Government, and the Esk Shire and Townsville City councils.
Launched 1965, the fund was originally aimed at guarding the retirement savings of local government employees. But three years ago it dropped that narrow focus and started allowing any investors through the doors.
Originally published as Aussie arm of UK trailer maker goes bust