Fashion company owes $9m

The fashion company that left town without paying Wollongong workers has gone into liquidation owing creditors $9 million.

A financial report by the administrators for Brands Direct, which traded from Wollongong Entertainment Centre as Global Rags for 10 days in October last year, shows former employees are owed $505,644.

The company's assets are worth no more than $300,000, administrator James Stewart, from Ferrier Hodgson, told the Mercury.

At a meeting attended by creditors in Melbourne on December 27, it was agreed to place Brands Direct into liquidation.

Finance company creditors, including National Australia Bank, are owed about $3 million and trade suppliers $5 million, Mr Stewart said.

Of those workers from the Illawarra, Karen Beavis, 26, of Dapto, Sajia Sharin Khan, 24, of Towradgi and Mandy Loach of Oak Flats, are owed at least $1000 in wages between them.

Ms Beavis said yesterday she was "frustrated" she was still unpaid three months after completing casual work. Mr Stewart said employees would most likely be luckier than other creditors in getting back what they are owed, thanks to the Federal Government's General Employee Entitlements and Redundancy Scheme established to assist employees who are owed certain employee entitlements.

But whether $282,407 in unpaid superannuation will be recovered is in doubt.

Other information from the financial report includes:

[PI9020] An ASIC search showed the Brands Direct director and sole shareholder when it went into voluntary administration was Leon Marc Siebel;

[PI9020] Brands Direct acquired the Global Rags business on November 15, 2004 from a company called ACIB, which was controlled by other members of the Siebel family;

[PI9020] ACIB was placed into voluntary administration on the same day as the 2004 sale, but control has since been handed back to its directors;

[PI9020] When administrators from Ferrier Hodgson were appointed on November 28, 2007, they were informed the business had been sold.