Building firm gets a lifeline

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A cash-strapped Queens-town building company received an injection of hope at a do-or-die creditors meeting on Tuesday. 

A poll of 60-plus creditors owed $652,000 saw the Landmark Homes Central Otago franchise gain a 12-month debt moratorium to allow the firm to try to trade its way out of financial trouble. 

“I’m happy with the outcome,” managing director Dave Lee says. 

“We don’t want to let anyone down.” 

Lee had emailed a last-ditch letter to creditors last week, many of them from the Wakatipu, making his company’s survival pitch. 

Lee wanted creditors to “park” their debts, as he put it, for a year without interest. 

Lee’s local firm is “an independently-owned franchise” of Landmark Homes New Zealand, whose operations manager is acting as trustee for all creditors under the bail-out. 

Landmark Homes NZ and Landmark Residential Properties are together the largest creditor, owed $206,968. PlaceMakers Queenstown is second, owed $86,680. 

With creditor votes determined by the pro-rata value of debts, Landmark Homes NZ, Landmark Residential Properties and PlaceMakers combined would have controlled 44 per cent of the poll. 

The national Landmark firm is underwriting fresh debts incurred by its franchisee during the 12-month moratorium. 

It is also prepared to park its debt until every other creditor has been paid. 

Lee’s trade-out plan revealed the firm has three jobs on the go, with another nine pencilled in. 

The plan estimates gross profit of between $114,600-$253,200. Depending on the final number, creditors could expect 16-42 per cent of debts to be paid over the 12 months. 

However Lee says he’s confident creditors will get back 100 cents in the dollar.