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Liquidators says Ticket Rocket lacks funds to pay creditors

Liquidators says Ticket Rocket lacks funds to pay creditors
January 18, 2021

Liquidators responsible for the affairs of Ticket Rocket have presented a grim prospect for unsecured creditors, expressing doubt over whether all owed money by the Dunedin-based ticketing business will be paid.

Released before Christmas, the first report from liquidators Rodgers Reidy listed over 1500 creditors owed more than $8 million including New Zealand’s Ministry of Social Development and New Zealand Post.

Companies associated with Ticket Rocket were placed in receivership in August, after reports the ticket agent was not paying refunds for events cancelled due to Coronavirus lockdowns.

One of those companies, Fortress Information Systems Ltd (the company behind Ticket Rocket), was subsequently placed in liquidation in October over debts owed to the Hurricanes and Crusaders Super Rugby franchises.

The Hurricanes were owed $186,000 and the Crusaders $155,000.

Fortress has also had $676,000 frozen by the High Court after an application from the Palmerston North City Council a move the company tried to keep secret.

Some financial information on Ticket Rocket’s collapse was made public after the first receiver’s reports were issued in November, including that associated companies collectively owed at least $8.4 million.

Control of the ticketing company’s fixed assets is now with receivers BDO who, after the liquidation is completed, will sell any “residual assets”.

Reports have suggested BDO aims to sell Ticket Rocket as a going concern.

However, with secured creditors - including BNZ, Dove Electronics, Smartpay Rental Services, Windcave New Zealand and the Crusaders’ rugby organisation - to be paid first, liquidators said it was unlikely that there will be money remaining to pay unsecured creditors owed a combined $3.17 million.

An investigation will also be carried out to check if any trading happened while the company was insolvent.

The liquidators said they would carry out a full investigation into Fortress Information Systems’ affairs but a release date for that is not given.

The first receivers’ report found Fortress Information Systems and its subsidiaries Dash Group, Dash Tickets and Dash Tickets Australia had $8 million in debts with a little less than $3 million in assets.

Receivers BDO were being left in charge of the company’s assets, with anything left after the receivership to be taken care of as part of the liquidation.

Ticket Rocket Director, Matthew Davey is reported to have told liquidators the ticket company’s failure was due to the Coronavirus pandemic and the Palmerston North City Council freezing order.

Although the liquidator was looking if there were ways to recover money for the business, it already had received a claim from Inland Revenue for $512,164 in GST and income tax arrears.

Image: Ticket Rocket’s office in Dunedin.

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