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Voluntary wind up confirmed for Scotts Refrigerated Logistics

Creditors have made the call on Scott’s Refrigerated Logistics and its related companies, confirming the voluntary wind up at a Creditor’s meeting held on April 3 by video conference

The legal notice released on the Australian Security Investment Commission’s website sums up the state of play for Scott’s Refrigerated Logistics.

“Notice is given that, on the resolution date set out below (April 3), the Company is taken, because of paragraph 446A(1)(a) to have passed a special resolution under s491 that the Company be wound up voluntarily,” the statement says.

McGrathNicol’s Shaun Robert Fraser is named as Liquidator, with Jonathan Henry, Jason Preston and Matthew Caddy as Joint Appointees.

Scott’s Refrigerated Logistics was one of the country’s biggest suppliers of cold storage and refrigerated transport, with major contracts in place with large supermarket chains including Coles, Woolworths and Aldi.

Not only did the group have more than 1500 employees and 500 trucks research by the real estate group Colliers found it occupied about 150,000sqm of warehouse space around Australia, with the biggest holdings in Queensland.

The group, which is made up of six companies, entered into voluntary administration on February 27 as its executives deemed it unlikely it could trade out of the debt it had accumulated.

As creditors moved to secure their invoices and the loans outstanding to Scott’s RL, the hunt began to secure a new owner.

While there were media reports of interest by a number of major transport groups, the deal could not be done in time.

Staff were told they were being made redundant at the start of March, and the work began to value the group’s assets and prepare them for sale in a bid to recoup as much cash as possible to pay out creditors.


RELATED STORY: Lindsay Australia buys a selection of Scott’s assets


At the meeting on April 3, creditors were told the Scott’s group had recorded average monthly losses of $8 million from 2021 onwards.

Other media reports indicate Scott’s had borrowed against the value of its fleet in order to cover the losses, but by January 2023 it has a balance sheet showing it was $92 million behind in terms of its net assets.

Payment of employee entitlements, expected to be around $35 million, will fall to the Federal Government under the Fair Entitlements Guarantee, with liquidator McGrathNicol acting as the middle man in terms of verifying each employee’s claim before it is put forward for payment.

For the drivers and businesses who contracted to Scott’s RL, the future is unclear. They join the list of creditors, to be paid out of any money made through the sale of assets.

Transport Workers Union (TWU) assistant secretary Nick McIntosh says contractors, who are deemed to be “unsecured creditors” may not “see a cent”.

The collapse of the business has been attributed to myriad reasons including a lack of investment in the fleet of trucks and trailers, market competition, high overheads, the increased use of contractors and an inability to pass on the rising costs of operation to its customers.

In the wake of the collapse the TWU is calling for an independent body to set minimum standards for the transport industry, and for a mandate that all companies and owner drivers be paid within 30 days of completing the work they have been contracted for.

The TWU has set up a contact form for those now looking for work that can be found here.

To get in touch with the liquidator, email scottsgeneral@mcgrathnicol.com

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