Appointed receiver Ernst & Young closed the doors of beleaguered distributor CHA after failing to convince creditors to continue to trade with the company. Meanwhile, having secured the Toshiba distribution contract, Ingram Micro has also snapped up nine former CHA employees, including former managing director Roger Bushell.
Ingram Micro managing director Steve Rust told ARN he was pleased to take on some of the former CHA staff as they will enable the rapid expansion of the newly won Toshiba distribution business.
"We have made nine job offers and most of those have been accepted," Rust said. "There were some good staff at CHA and we are pleased to have them on board in order to ramp up our new Toshiba business."
CHA receiver and manager Michael Scales told ARN he was unable to maintain the viability of CHA after the loss of the Toshiba contract and subsequently he was forced to fold the company.
"As a result of the inability to get supply from the major Toshiba distributor, we were unable to continue to operate viably," Scales said.
Pink slips were distributed to the 30 remaining employees, while the receivers prepared for a fire sale of the remaining stock in an attempt to recuperate CHA's outstanding debts, which the receivers claim amount to "millions of dollars".
According to Scales, former employees and secured creditors would receive their entitlements. However, he didn't hold out much hope for non-secured creditors.
While the channel has been full of rumours surrounding CHA's increasingly desperate position, shell-shocked employees told ARN the closure of the business came right out of the blue.
"We were just oblivious to
it," said one former CHA employee. "Most of the company's staff has already found work in other places, but many have been forced to
Some of the smaller creditors have been critical of the administrator's management of the company, claiming they were being asked to continue to trade under unreasonable circumstances.
One such creditor, Saratoga Distribution, has been unable to secure the return of its stock which has not been paid for. Ivar Stanelis, managing director of the company, has been attempting to contact the receivers in an attempt to secure any unsold stock.
"I have been told I have to prove title in court, even though I had a clause on the bottom of the invoices saying that the property would remain the property of Saratoga until we received payment," Stanelis said. "They must know that the court costs would come to more than what I am owed; I can't spend any more money on this partnership."
Stanelis said he was upset by the casual manner in which the creditors were being treated, citing difficulty in contacting the company and calls not being returned.
"It is just annoying to lose
that amount of money and
be treated casually by the administrators," Stanelis said.
However, the receiver and manager has defended his position, saying stock would be returned, provided the supplier could demonstrate a valid retention of title clause and identify the goods via serial numbers. n