Administrators seek out Forum Group buyers, attracting 95 bidders


Credit: Dreamstime

The administrator appointed to Forum Group revealed that he had received 111 inquiries about the sale of the company, 95 interested parties having signed non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), as he continues to investigate the viability of the company. group of companies.

The owner of the group, Bill Papas, is said to have “disappeared” following an investigation by Westpac into allegations of fraud totaling more than $ 250 million at his other company, Forum Finance.

Westpac and the Federal Court appointed Jason Ireland and Jason Preston of McGrathNicol as liquidators of Forum Finance on July 9 to investigate its assets and liabilities.

The Forum Group companies were also placed under administration on the same day with the appointment of Domenico Calabretta, Thyge Trafford-Jones and Grahame Ward of Mackay Goodwin.

Bill Papas of the Forum GroupCredit: Forum Groupe
Bill Papas of the Forum Group

As of July 9, the administrator said he was conducting group-wide investigations, which are ongoing, as well as reviewing Forum Group’s position, including the viability of various business units.

At the time of Mackay Goodwin’s appointment, Forum Group employed approximately 200 people.

Since then, the directors have closed the operations of a business unit, Iugis Food Waste, because the continued operation of that business unit was not viable. But the viability of ongoing operations for two other business units, Forum Group Managed IT Services and a solar panel company called Autonomous Energy, is still under review.

The administrator said a decision is pending on whether to continue operating the two business units, which employ around 170 people, and has successfully secured a release of funds to pay salaries until July 8. for both companies.

“The review of their continued operation is ongoing,” said the administrator.

“There was great interest in the acquisition of the two business units. To date, the administrator has received 111 requests, 95 of which have signed a nondisclosure agreement and received company details, ”Mackay Goodwin said.

The first meeting of creditors takes place on July 20.

Administration impacts the Forum Group of Companies, which is considered the parent company of a series of entities, including Forum Group; Forum fleet; Financial services of the Forum group; Aramia Holdings; Autonomous energy; Direct Forum; Environment Forum; Imagetec Financial Services; Imagetec solutions; Intrashield investment group; Iugis waste solutions; OneSource Australia; Orca environmental solutions; Orca Enviro Systems; Intelligent fleet management; Spartan consultation group; and Eros Management.

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