Clever Use of the Power to Order Pre-Action Discovery
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Hamilton Locke recently advised Kate Barnet and Damien Hodgkinson of Olvera Advisors in their capacity as voluntary administrators of ARG Ginger & Smart Pty Ltd (the Company) on the successful restructure of the iconic Australian fashion label Ginger & Smart.
Critical for the survival of the business, a licence was granted in favour of the senior secured creditor and sole shareholder of the Company Alquemie Group Holdings Pty Ltd (Alquemie), immediately following the administrators appointment.
Under this arrangement Alquemie adopted all risk associated with trading, which prevented the need for the administrators to immediately shut down operations and provided critical time to consider options for the business whilst not prejudicing the position of pre-appointment creditors. The administrators, alongside Alquemie, took steps to streamline the business by exiting various leases, reorganising the fulfilment teams and production processes, shifting the focus of sales from instore to online and maintaining the David Jones concession arrangements. The successful restructure of the Company was effectuated via a deed of company arrangement put forward by Alquemie that saw the business continue as a going concern and with the majority of employment maintained within 6 weeks of the initial appointment.
Commenting on the transaction, Nicholas Edwards said: “The restructure of Ginger and Smart demonstrates once again the efficiency of the administration process, if planned correctly. Creditors and stakeholders have shown time and time again that they will support a restructure if they are brought into the tent early and given fair value. Kate, Damien and the Olvera team did a wonderful job of ensuring all parties, especially employees and creditors, understood and were comfortable with their position both during the VA process and post-restructure.”
Commenting on working with the Hamilton Locke team, Kate Barnet said: “Good outcomes are created by careful planning and execution involving the company and legal advisors. When all parties work together the opportunities for the business and its stakeholders are maximised. This outcome could not have been achieved in the time it was without the amazing efforts of Nick and the team at Hamilton Locke as well as the team at Alquemie.”
The Hamilton Locke team was led by restructuring and insolvency partner Nicholas Edwards and assisted by senior associate Kassandra Adams and Ariane Thierry as well as Hamilton Locke’s employment team, led by James Simpson.