Story image

Liquidators of China milk exporter may claw back $145,200 from Chinese directors

14 Apr 2015

Liquidators of a failed milk exporting company, which became insolvent after losing an unfair dismissal case with employees, may force the company's Chinese-based directors to pay back $145,200 to creditors.

NCF International was tipped into liquidation last June, after former shareholders and employees David Cardno and Jan Wolyncewicz won an unfair dismissal case and were awarded $83,408 by the employment court in January 2014, according to a ShephardDunphy liquidators report by Iain Bruce Shephard and Heath Leslie Gair. The company was set up by Chinese and New Zealand-based investors, to export milk into China, with Wolyncewicz and Cardno employed for "their expertise in food exportation and marketing".

Chinese investment in New Zealand, particularly in the agriculture sector, has been growing, as the world's most populous country looks to secure its food supply. Earlier this year, the farming arm of Shanghai Pengxin Group, which is owned by Chinese billionaire Jiang Zhoabai, said it plans to double its $500 million of local assets within the next five years.

Wolyncewicz and Cardno still hold 2.5 percent of NCF each, but ceased being directors in April 2013, while in March 2014 NCF's China-based directors Bing Li, Lai Yebin, Guo Xiaohai, Chen Junliang resigned as directors, leaving Wellington-based Fu Bihua as the sole director, according to records on the Companies Office website.

After the legal stoush, NCF assets were transferred to a related company and cornerstone shareholder, Pairua Investment Group, which is jointly owned by former directors of NCF, Li and Yebin. Prior to the transfer of NCF assets to Pairua, $145,200 was paid to China-based directors in February, in what appears to be a voidable transaction, meaning liquidators Shephard and Gair can claw it back for creditors, they said.

NCF had no secured creditors. Liquidators have received a preferential claim from Inland Revenue for $15,189, on top of Wolyncewicz and Cardno's $83,408 claims, while five unsecured creditors have claimed $49,759. So far liquidators have sold $1,725 worth of office furniture, while the NCF bank balance prior to liquidation was $60.18.

Need the perfect flatmate? AI can help
A Kiwi entrepreneur has developed a flatmate-finding service called Mogeo, which is an algorithm that matches people to the perfect flatmates.
GoCardless to double A/NZ team by end of year
With a successful E round of investment and continuing organic growth globally, the debit network platform company aims to expand its local presence.
NZ’s Maori innovators are on the rise
“More iwi investors need to recognise that these sectors will provide the high-value jobs our children need."
Phone ringing? This biohack wants you to bite down and ChewIt
So your phone’s ringing, but instead of swiping right or pushing a Bluetooth button you bite down on a tiny piece of tech that sits in your mouth.
How big data can revolutionise NZ’s hospitals
Miya Precision is being used across 17 wards and the emergency department at Palmerston North Hospital.
Time's up, tax dodgers: Multinational tech firms may soon pay their dues
Multinational tech and digital services firms may no longer have a free tax pass to operate in New Zealand. 
Spark’s new IoT network reaches 98% of New Zealand
Spark is the first company to confirm the nationwide completion of a Cat-M1 network in New Zealand.
WhatsApp users warned to change voicemail PINs
Attackers are allegedly gaining access to users’ WhatsApp accounts by using the default voicemail PIN to access voice authentication codes.