Sydney-based reseller, Plus Corporation, has called in the administrators and closed its doors.
The company appointed Jirsch Sutherland as voluntary administrators on October 23. It took its website offline and pulled the shutters over its premises on the same day. According to Plus Corp owner and managing director, Nigel Fernandes, it owes under $200,000 to creditors. These include major suppliers, Altech ($62,000) and TodayTech ($36,000). Some of Fernandes' friends and family are also owed money.
Fernandes said he had invested about $600,000 into the company in recent years and was now looking down the barrel of bankruptcy. Plus Corp was founded in 1992 as Peripherals Plus. As well retailing a range of IT hardware and software, it also assembled custom-built PCs.
"The market out there is unbelievably bad," Fernandes said. "In the last three months, our sales had halved. It's an incredibly difficult market to be in.
"The decision was made not to get any further into debt - in terms of ourselves and our suppliers. I would ideally liked to have walked away and owed nothing, but it was impossible."
Fernandes said Plus Corp had made several attempts to lower operating costs over the past 12 months, including shedding staff and relocating from its premises in the Sydney suburb of Rydalmere to Silverwater to be closer to suppliers. At the time of Plus Corp's closure, there were just two staff remaining, he said.
"We had a good reputation and some government contracts but the PC side has dropped," he said. "It was inevitable.
"We managed to get out 98.5 per cent of the orders and 99 per cent of the returns before closing, which was good."
Fernandes said the administrators were now talking with one party interested in buying the company's IP and leftover stock. He was hopeful of a decision shortly.
"After 17 years, I'd like to see if it can go on. Hopefully, others will be able to continue the business," he said.
The first creditors meeting will be held on October 30. The meeting to decide the future of the company will be held on or about 19 November.
Jirsch Sutherland partner and Plus administrator, Sule Arnautovic, said it was looking to sell the business assets, including the website, business name, goodwill, customer lists, contact numbers, stock on hand and plant and equipment, quickly.
"This is a great opportunity for a business to step in and run with the existing website," Arnautovic said. "It would certainly suit a start-up business, as the infrastructure is already there."
The news of Plus Corp's demise comes just one week after Melbourne-based reseller, Computer World, suffered a similar fate. That reseller owes $4.5 million to creditors.