Potentially $5-6 million unclaimed in GIC Ltd wind-up

Terry Sim, October 27, 2017

LIQUIDATORS for the wool grower-owned Graziers’ Investment Company Ltd estimate up to $5-6 million could remain unclaimed in the wind-up of the company.

More than 99 percent of voting GIC Ltd shareholders voted to appoint liquidators to wind-up the entity and distribute $20 million in capital to shareholders on October 11.

At a company general meeting at Parkville in Victoria today, GIC secretary Peter McKeown said 99.7 percent of eligible shareholders voting opted to wind-up the company and appoint liquidators.

GIC shareholders that can be located are expected to receive about $9.55 per share, subject to wind-up approval and tax clearance.

However, liquidator Ahmed Bise said at this early stage it was difficult to provide a precise indication of how much of the company’s capital will remain unclaimed, but the preliminary estimate is between $5 -6 million. This is potentially double an earlier estimate of $2.7 million.

“Given GIC has in excess of 30,000 members it’s very difficult to independently verify the address or other contact details for all members,” he said.

“We will be relying on the company’s records as our source for members’ contact details.

“I would encourage any members who believe their contact details may not be up to date to get in touch with my office as quickly as possible.”

Mr Bise said other than ensuring their details are correctly recorded in the company’s records there is no requirement for the members to do anything.

“The process of distributing any remaining funds to shareholders is part of the overall liquidation process.”

Before the October 11 GIC meeting, the company’s board wrote to the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources to see if there was anything he could do to have unclaimed GIC shareholder funds re-directed for the benefit of the wool industry rather than have it go into unclaimed monies.

Mr Bise said the liquidators have not been contacted by Mr Joyce, but would reach out to his office.

“Broadly speaking a liquidator is under an obligation to wind up a company’s affairs as promptly and as efficiently as possible.

“To that end while we are happy to discuss GIC’s liquidation with Mr Joyce, we can’t allow his potential involvement to unduly delay the process.”

Mr Bise said the responsibility of a liquidator is to ensure that the company meets its statutory obligations, attends to any outstanding matters, identifies those parties that have claims against it and resolve them and then obtain clearance from the Deputy Commissioner of Taxation prior to making a distribution to members.

“A reasonable estimate of how long the process might take is between four and six months; however, it is possible unforeseen issues may arise that alter that timeframe.”

Graziers’ Investment Company Limited was previously known as Australian Wool Services Limited, the successor to the Australian Wool Research and Promotion Organisation, which once had The Woolmark Company Pty Ltd and Australian Wool Innovation Limited as subsidiaries. AWI was de-merged from AWS in 2002 and The Woolmark Company was sold to AWI in 2007.

GIC Ltd was responsible for concluding the legacy issues inherited from its predecessors and managing the wind-down of its remaining interests. There are 36,594 wool grower shareholders in GIC, mostly in New South Wales, Western Australia and Victoria, who holding 2,093,586 issued shares. Most of the 30,877 GIC shareholders hold up to 100 shares.


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