On 21 November 2018, the creditors of registered training organisation, AGB Group Pty Ltd voted in favour of a Deed of Company Arrangement (DOCA) as put forward by the company’s director. Nathan Deppeler and Matthew Jess of Worrells Solvency and Forensic Accountants were appointed deed administrators.
Following the deed’s execution, the director has made the required payments under the DOCA to date. However, on Tuesday, 29 October 2019, the director ceased trading the business due to financial constraints.
Despite the business closure, the company legally remains under the DOCA. AGB Group has not entered into liquidation. Worrells is undertaking an urgent assessment in light of the business closure and is in the process of communicating with all affected stakeholders.
Worrells advise that ceasing to trade the business and failing to pay its debts as and when they fell due is a default under the DOCA. Pursuant to the DOCA terms, Worrells has issued a default notice to the director and the company, which if not rectified on or before 8 November 2019, could likely result in the liquidation of the company.
AGB Group Pty Ltd had approximately 30 employees and 1,100 current students and is based in Geelong Victoria.
Any outstanding employee entitlements will form part of the claim against the company. In the event that the default is not rectified, and the company enters liquidation, employees may claim their outstanding entitlements under the government’s Fair Entitlements Guarantee scheme (excluding superannuation).
Scott Andersen, partner of Worrells Geelong understands how this affects the community and provided the following comment:
Mr Andersen said, “We understand this is very a stressful time for all stakeholders and students, and we appreciate this would have been a very difficult decision for the director to make. Insolvency law is designed to help to protect and assist a range of interests and the DOCA that creditors approved last year provides for a range of contingencies such as the one the training organisation is now facing.”
Given the recent AGB Group closure,, Worrells is urging that students and employees understand that the urgent assessment taking place is in its infancy and that detailed information will follow.
Worrells appreciates the impact this has on all affected parties and has established a dedicated email address for the administration firstname.lastname@example.org. Affected parties are encouraged to contact Worrells via this dedicated email address.
Historically the AGB Group appointed Worrells initially as voluntary administrators on 17 October 2018 when Worrells continued to trade the training organisation until creditors accepted the director’s DOCA; subsequently becoming the deed administrators from 21 November 2018. Accordingly, the teams at Worrells Melbourne and Worrells Geelong, are conversant with the training organisation’s operations and related state/federal government licensing provisions.
Worrells has 33 offices nationally and 29 partners, across Qld, NSW, ACT, Vic, SA, and WA. Worrells has been providing solvency management, insolvency administration, and forensic investigation services for over 45 years.