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ANZ Bank unlikely to get millions owed to it by failed retailer Pumpkin Patch

Friday 22nd June 2018

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Failed children's clothing retailer Pumpkin Patch is unlikely to be able to pay back the millions it owes to ANZ Bank while unsecured creditors will get zilch, according to the latest report by the company's receivers KordaMentha.

ANZ Bank was owed $59.5 million when Pumpkin Patch was tipped into receivership in October 2016 and as of April 25 this year had been paid a total of $29.4 million, according to the latest six-monthly report from receivers Brendon Gibson and Neale Jackson of KordaMentha. The bank is still owed $19.83 million, including accrued interest, and given almost all of the group's assets have been realised, "there will be a shortfall to the bank", the receivers said.

The receivers said they have paid preferential creditors of the parent company Pumpkin Patch a total of $2.9 million, including $2.7 million owed to employees and $154,000 owed to the Inland Revenue Department. Preferential creditors of the largest trading subsidiary Pumpkin Patch Originals were paid $1.9 million, including $1.46 million to employees, $438,000 to NZ Customs, and $48,000 for PAYE tax and other deductions.  

While all preferential claims have now been paid, there are no funds available to pay unsecured creditors, the receivers said, noting the liquidator is still assessing the amount of unsecured claims. 

Pumpkin Patch went into administration after being unable to find a way out of a financial black hole with too much debt and not enough capital in a highly competitive sector. It had earlier spurned a number of parties who were interested in buying the business, saying at the time that the offers weren't compelling enough for the board to consider seriously and instead the company focused on trying to lift its trading performance. Its brand and intellectual property have since been sold by the receivers to Australian online retailer Catch Group.


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