Skai falls in

Skai falls in

The channel received a New Year's greeting it could have done without as Melbourne-based systems integrator Skai Computer Systems fell into voluntary administration.

Parent company Voicenet admitted the subsidiary had "not been a viable business for a number of years" and the company would "cease to be a cash-flow drain on the group."

Investigations are also under way into accusations that Voicenet paid too much money for companies in which its directors had a financial interest. The company's current board of directors are not associated with these accusations.

Voicenet bought Skai in March 1999 from owner and managing director Michael Neistat, paying $2.5 million cash for the operations. Until recently, Neistat held the position of chief operating officer at Voicenet.

The company leaves behind debts of more than $1 million. Taking assets into account, administrators estimate a deficiency of $44,8450. IT distributors figure prominently in the list of creditors, with Synnex owed more than $200,000. Ingram Micro, Tech Pacific and Servex were also owed substantial sums.

Administrators from Hall Chadwick who are attempting to sell the business as an ongoing concern are believed to be on the verge of finding a buyer.

"Skai has one leading customer - the Department of Human Resources in Victoria," said Hall Chadwick's Geoffrey McDonald. "As far as trading is concerned, hopefully Skai will be sold and the new owner will take the brand onward."

McDonald believes a combination of the initial purchase price and operating costs contributed to the downfall of the company.

"Voicenet paid too much in the first place and the business fundamentally didn't make any money," he said. "Its overhead structure was by far too big for what it was doing."

A valuation of the company by Hymans Asset Management assessed the market value of the company for existing use at $155,624.

Employees will also be able to claim any shortfall in their entitlements through the General Employee Entitlement and Redundancy Scheme.

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