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Kelly backs rebranded Noske Logistics to shine

Company has a strong workforce, good equipment and contracts, new owner says


The man who took over Noske Logistics is tipping a bright future for the once troubled firm, and the company’s former owner is staying on to help run it.

Chas Kelly, who purchased the  assets of the financially stricken Noske group of companies after they went into administration, says”the future is good” for the business.

He says the company will continue providing woodchip and tipper transport services — albeit under a different name and with Tony Noske on board.

“We’re rebranding it to Kelly Logistics so it becomes part of our enterprise,” Kelly says.

“Tony will be staying on to help us run it. There is a huge amount of experience and knowledge there that is best for us to keep.

“I’ve known Tony for a lot of years and I’ve been aware of his business, of course, and I saw it as another opportunity for our company to expand. It’s a good workforce and their equipment is exceptionally good so I decided I would give it a run.”

The Noske group was made up of Noske Logistics, Noske Forestry Logistics and Whitleigh. Noske Logistics transported cement and fertiliser from Geelong and logs to Geelong, while the forestry arm harvested logs and transported woodchips to Portland. Whitleigh provided back-office support services to the two divisions.

Kelly says he will continue running the Noske group’s Portland and Geelong depots, but a lot of administrative support services have been shifted to Kelly’s home base of Tasmania, while the head office has moved to the Melbourne suburb of Sunshine.

“We’ve been able to restructure and recapitalise it and we’ve shifted some of the back office stuff to our head office in Tasmania. It will auger well for the future,” Kelly says.

“The contracts are good, the people are good, gear’s good, so we’re into it and we’re looking forward to it.”

The three arms of the Noske group of companies went into voluntary administration in September.

Kelly came to the rescue within days with a buyout offer that included a commitment to take on significant financial liabilities and retain the majority of employees.

A report from administrator PPB Advisory says Kelly offered $735,044 for the assets of the companies, with the figure covering plant and equipment, goodwill, spare parts and office equipment.

Kelly also took on about $362,000 in employee liabilities such as leave and sick pay, established a $250,000 deed fund that will secure most of employees’ superannuation entitlements and agreed to purchase a $3.5 million debt the company owed to Bendigo Bank.

Read the full report on this transaction in the December edition of ATN.

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