Clive Palmer led Queensland Nickel will finally be liquidated. This crucial decision was taken on Friday after a vote in the joint meeting between creditors and administrators.
The green signal now allows liquidators to pursue Clive Palmer for the debts owed, the administrators said. Creditors owed about $200 million. Among the liabilities are $70 million for workers, which will be taken care of by the almost $60 million from the Federal Government’s entitlements scheme, reports The ABC.
The liquidation follows reports of gross mismanagement and the testimony that the management is unable to pay off the debts.
Administrators FTI Consulting had nailed the wrong management of the Queensland Nickel, in a report. The company came into voluntary administration in 2015. The administrators said the company’s funds were misused by Palmer as his “personal piggy bank.”
It blamed Palmer and his nephew Clive Mensink, a former QN director, for “reckless” breaching of norms in fair business management. Massive diversion of funds benefited Palmer’s other businesses.
Between November 2012 and June 2013, Palmer transferred $43 million to different entities and nearly $15 million to his own personal account. The QN funds were also splurged in buying vintage luxury cars to support Palmer’s resorts.
Last week, Palmer’s nephew director Clive Mensink told a Brisbane court that creditors will not be paid as the corporate structure allows Palmer to sidestep the debts.
Meanwhile, the AFR reported that existing Queensland Nickel administrator John Park from FTI Consulting will be joined by a special purpose liquidator Steve Parbery.
Parbery’s entry owes to the intervention of employment minister Michaelia Cash, who wants to protect the interests of Commonwealth government and recover all the money owed to it.
The Commonwealth is the single largest creditor under the Fair Entitlement Guarantee scheme.
The role for a special purpose liquidator became inevitable after an apprehension that the existing administrators may face a deficit in administration costs. The benefit with Parbery will be that his funding for the pursuit of assets will be borne by the Commonwealth government.