Lempriere Grain shareholders queue up for payment

Lempriere Grain shareholders queue up for payment


Grains
Lempriere Grain is believed to owe growers between $6 million and $7 million.

Lempriere Grain is believed to owe growers between $6 million and $7 million.

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The two co-owners of failed grain business Lempriere Grain have applied as creditors as total debts of around $18 million are registered.

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THE OWNERS of collapsed grain business Lempriere Grain have been registered as some of the largest creditors of the company following this week's initial creditors' meeting for the business.

Overall, claims for around $18 million have been submitted, with the owners making up $10.4 million of that and grower creditors believed to be between $6-7 million.

Half owner of Lempriere Grain, Singaporean business Starcom Resources, lodged a claim for $9.9 million, while Will Lempriere, who held the other 50pc, put in an application for $525,000.

Around 90 creditors, the majority of them growers, were registered at the meeting, convened by administrator Jirsch Sutherland.

There were grain buying businesses caught up in the collapse, with major players on the Australian scene such as Cargill Australia and GrainCorp registered as creditors.

Other big debts are owed to Geelong-based grain traders Melaluka Trading and Ballan-based grain packer Agripak.

The largest grower debts are between $100,000 and $300,000.

A grower creditor-led push to replace the administrators failed, in spite of attracting a reported 52 votes to 11 at the meeting, due to the total value of debts owed to the 11 who voted against.

To replace an administrator the creditors' motion needs to attract a majority of creditors and a majority of the debt owed.

Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) grains group president Ash Fraser said the system in place when grain companies collapsed was in need of urgent overhaul.

"We just come out of all these situations where a company goes under really poorly, you have a look at the debts registered and the same people involved in the company that went under are there registered as creditors, it isn't a good set-up from our perspective."

"For every load of grain that wasn't paid for, that's going to come out of this year's cropping budget, it will mean cutting on fertiliser, it may even mean the farmers have to cancel input orders they have made previously, budgeting the money from the grain to pay for it."

The story Lempriere Grain shareholders queue up for payment first appeared on Farm Online.

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