Up to 'eight' potential buyers eye off Kimberley Kampers
UP TO eight interested parties are negotiating with the liquidator of Ballina caravan manufacturer Kimberley Kampers over the sale of the business.
Liquidator SV Partners announced it was accepting expressions of interest up until the close of business on Friday "following which they expect to be working more closely with the parties who submitted the top two or three offers".
It's understood at least one formal offer to acquire the company has been lodged by a US-led investor group which believes the Kimberley products have a promising future in the massive North American RV market.
SV Partners is also preparing for an auction through Grays Online in "coming weeks", and says most items will be offered without a reserve in case the sale of the business as a whole does not occur.
The company went into overnight liquidation last month, with more than 50 employees sacked overnight.
An initial notice to creditors released by SV Partners has estimated the company owes about $730,00 to unsecured creditors, but only $250,000 of that is classed as "claimed".
It has also estimated that former employees are owed almost $1.1 million in entitlements, although this is covered under the Federal Government's Fair Entitlement Guarantee scheme.
Meanwhile, the effort of former employees who returned to work to complete several pre-ordered Kimberley campervans has come in for huge praise from former Kimberley director Bruce Loxton.
SV Partners contracted the employees to assist with the completion of six pre-ordered units which were completed on Tuesday this week.
"The liquidators have been able to fulfill six existing orders and complete a further two units for stock," an SV Partners spokesman said.
It's believed that the business took several orders for units just days before it went into liquidation and had a legal obligation to finish them.
Mr Loxton said it was an "absolute credit" to the employees in a "highly unusual" situation.
"Faced with the situation that cash had been taken in days before liquidation, probably with the knowledge that liquidation was imminent, those employees elected to come back and complete the units," Mr Loxton said.
"It's a great credit to them."
Former employees of the company had a meeting with a representative of the NSW Business Chamber last Friday to establish a plan for future work opportunities.