‘Shocking and frightening’: Condev’s debts revealed

A report by Worrells has revealed the full extent of the company’s financial woes before it collapsed last week after failing to secure a $25m bailout from its developer partners. The report, from Worrells’ Jason Bettles and James Robba, shows Condev had:• Liabilities of up to $45m, including $31m owned to unsecured creditors, $2.5m in employee entitlements, $6.3m to Westpac, $4m to its insurance bodies, $530,000 to the Australian Tax Office and the rest to utility providers; • More than $33m in assets, including its Robina headquarters, bonds for rental properties and the company’s fleet of vehicles.Mr Robba said the unsecured creditor debt could change after some of Condev’s developer partners directly employed subcontractors to finish their projects. He said he expected all outstanding entitlements for Condev’s 107 staff to be paid “in full” up to the date of liquidation.“We understand developers have engaged a number of subcontractors and employees who were formerly working for the company to assist in completing projects, ” he said. “It’s important to note that these decisions and engagements are all being made completely independent of our role as liquidators of Condev Construction. “Our teams are continuing to liaise with all affected parties, completing our own investigations into the company records, and have engaged agents to assist in collecting the company assets for sale. “It’s still very early days in this appointment, and we are very aware and empathetic to the impact it’s having on everyone. We’re doing our best to find a way to make a bad situation a little better for everyone.” Condev went into liquidation on March 15.The company had hoped for financial backing from a dozen developers and planned to off-load its own assets in order to stay afloat. However, the developers rejected the plea. The company struggled under the financial weight of spiking material costs, supply chain issues and a pandemic hangover.Property records revealed Condev Construction sold a unit for $500,000 on the same day it went into liquidation.The 113sq m, two-bedroom apartment was part of the Cambridge Residences development at Robina, one of six major projects Condev was working on when it went bust. How much Condev Construction owes to subbiesConstruction giant Condev owes nearly $31m to creditors as liquidators begin to pick through the ruins of the collapsed company.Liquidator Worrells has filed a report with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) revealing the state of the company’s finances a week after founders Steve and Tracy Marais failed to secure a $25m lifeline from its development partners.The company had hoped for financial backing from a dozen developers and planned to off-load its own assets in order to stay afloat.However, the developers rejected the plea.Condev Construction, which just 18 months ago was named the city’s best business, said it was struggling under the financial weight of spiking material costs, supply chain issues and a pandemic hangover.The Worrells report reveals the company owes:* Nearly $31m to 700 people including unsecured creditors, and subcontractors;*More than $6.3m to Westpac, a secured creditor;* More than $2.5m in wa ges to Condev’s staff who lost their jobs last week;* $530,000 to the Australian Tax Office.Condev has maintained it was solvent until it went into liquidation and all subcontractors, staff and suppliers had been fully paid to date.The Bulletin understands many subcontractors and suppliers had not been paid since January, with most owed more than six weeks of wages and costs.Subcontractors who worked on Condev sites say they are shocked at the size of the company’s debts.“We are owed more than $40,000 still but everyone is still waiting to hear about whether we will get paid,” one tradie told the Bulletin.“That $31m figure is a shocking and frightening figure given (Condev) were painting a picture that they had enough money in the accounts and could have continued to pay us for several more months.“It honestly makes me angry.”Company co-founder Tracy Marais told the Bulletin just minutes after signing the liquidation papers that the company had enough money to pay its bills until June, but had chosen liquidation to “not hurt people more”.NED-2822-GCB-APPOxenford-based Subbies United lobby group boss John Goddard said many workers were still waiting to hear if they would be paid.“People are really concerned about this because (Condev) said in the media it was a done deal and a simple process but here we are a week later and millions of dollars in claims are being held up,” he said.It comes after property records revealed Condev Construction sold a unit for $500,000 on the same day it went into liquidation.The 113sq m, two-bedroom apartment was part of the Cambridge Residences development at Robina, one of six major projects Condev was working on when it went bust last week.After the collapse of construction giant Probuild last month, the construction industry warned more failures could follow as a result of companies underpricing fixed-cost contracts to attract work. Another construction giant, Condev, has also collapsed. “It’s almost a perfect storm, there’s been a culmination of events, you have to remember that Condev Construction is a very well-regarded business here on the Gold Coast,” Cronin Miller Litigation’s Derek Cronin told Sky News Australia. “There’s been a culmination of events which include Probuild but nevertheless, 60 weather events within a period of 12 months, a culmination of Omicron which really hit the company in early January, and of course, increased cost of supply and trades.” NED-3269 Gold Coast Download Newsletter Bannerandrew.potts@news.com.auTwitter follow Andrew Potts

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