Clients offer support, as Mannway faces sale

<font color=red><b>MANNWAY LATEST:</b></font> Steel giants stand by bankrupt company, as receivers look to sell as "going concern"

Clients offer support, as Mannway faces sale
Clients offer support, as Mannway faces sale
By Michael House | October 20, 2009

Two of Mannway's biggest customers are standing by the bankrupt company, as receivers shop the transport giant around as a "going concern".

BlueScope Steel and OneSteel have offered their support to the national carrier, telling ATN they will honour the contracts they have with the company.

The downturn in steel production was one of the reasons blamed for the collapse of Mannway, which was placed into the hands of receivers last week.

BlueScope Supply Chain General Manager Ingilby Dickson says the steel giant currently has two fleet contracts as well as a container export and consolidation service with Mannway, the last of which is not due to expire for another two years.

"We [BlueScope] will continue to support the receiver [Manway] as they are continuing to meet our needs at present and hopefully in the foreseeable future," Dickson says.

"It is important people like us don’t drop our bundle and do anything silly and we are not going to do that."

Speaking to ATN, Dickson also made it clear none of BlueScope’s work would be transferred to its other transport providers, although he says help has been offered by these companies.

"We have been offered lots of help from [our] other contractors, but we are not having any commercial or otherwise discussions with any of these other providers at this time," he says.

"It is nice they have offered to help, but we won’t be taking them up on their offer."

OneSteel’s attitude towards its business partner is much the same, but a spokesperson for the company admits it has back-up plans should Mannway be unable to continue transporting its goods.

"Yes [Mannway will continue carrying for OneSteel], until the receiver makes a decision on the future of Mannway," the spokesperson says.

"OneSteel has contingency plans in case this occurs [service not being available], however we have no indications that Mannway will cease to operate as a freight provider to OneSteel."

It is still unclear if any other transport companies will be interested in the Mannway business.

Queensland operator Russel’s Transport, which also works extensively in the steel market, declined to comment on the situation when approached by ATN.

Advertisements in the national press placed by receivers Ferrier Hodgson call for expressions of interest in the company by this Friday.

Ferrier Hodgson partner Brendan Richards told ATN last week the business will be sold as quickly as possible with the firm wearing "unsustainable" losses.

The firm is looking for a buyer for the whole business to protect jobs, but will sell it off piece-by-piece for a better return.

"If we have a party that’s interested in the business as a whole – and that’s ultimately what we’re trying to achieve – then that’s the way we’d like to go," Richards says.

An advertisement in today's Australian Financial Review calls Mannway an "established leading provider of contract logistics" with "lucrative supply contracts with bluechip customers" and a "large customer base with over 300 clients.

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