Macfield loses fight for finance

Outlook bleak as South Australian trailer company is said to have failed to convince one bank of its prospects

Macfield loses fight for finance
Macfield loses fight for finance
By Rob McKay | February 1, 2013

South Australian trailer concern Macfield is almost certain to be liquidated following the next creditors’ meeting, the group’s administrator says.

That meeting follows the initial meeting on January 10, which came after the company was put into administration and ceased to trade on December 31.

It appears financiers' stern line on exposure to manufacturing and transport may have helped force Macfield’s hand and the move will see hundreds of trailers hit the market as creditors seek to minimise any losses.

"The company’s finance facilities weren’t extended," administrator Hugh Martin of Adelaide accountancy Bernardi Martin says.

"The company had been trying to raise money by selling some of the business but the time-frames became too short and the company felt that it had no other option but to put the company into administration."

Martin adds that there are "very few" unsecured creditors, with the main creditors being finance companies that he was not prepared to name. There was no
schedule for the sale of a "mixed" fleet of 300 or so mainly refrigerated trailers and the process was at the creditors’ discretion.

Sources with an understanding of the situation say Westpac took a tough position with the firm, despite having what was described as a "relatively small" exposure.

"Westpac just failed to see that the assets within the business had far more value if the business was kept as a going a concern," one observer notes.

It is understood that Macfield Group’s subsidiary firms, involved in trailer sales and rental and modular accommodation will be wound up.

The development is likely to complicate US trailer firm Wabash National Corporation's consolidation of its
entry into the Australian market.

Macfield had an exclusive deal to import and market Wabash’s ArcticLite light refrigerated trailer that was extended to the end of last year.

Sources say lead times for testing the trailers over the past year went longer than anticipated.

This is put down to industry conservatism in the face of a product new to local conditions and a wait-and-see approach from prospective customers at a time of market and economic uncertainty.

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