Former Masterchef judge George Calombaris has been thrown into the spotlight again after reports revealed his yoghurt chain Yo-Chi is refusing to pay liquidators a $140,000 debt.
The up-market frozen yoghurt chain, of which Calombaris is an owner, reportedly owes hundreds of thousands of dollars to Calombaris’ restaurant empire MAdE Establishment.
But according to liquidator KordaMentha, Yo-Chi will be unable to repay the outstanding debt, the Herald Sun reported.
KordaMentha are tasked with raising $1.32 million in funds to pay off the employee wage and entitlements bill to MAdE’s creditors.
But the $140,000, which was made as an ‘inter-company loan’ from MAdE to Yo-Chi, won’t be recovered as the liquidators came to realise that the yoghurt chain could not repay the debt.
“Following correspondence with one of Yo-Chi’s shareholders, the liquidators concluded that it would not be commercial to pursue the outstanding loan balance further as Yo-Chi has minimal cash and recoverable assets,” according to a KordaMentha report as reported by the Herald Sun.
“In addition, Made Establishment’s claim is as an unsecured creditor of Yo-Chi and we are aware of a secured creditor who would rank ahead of Made Establishment’s claim in any formal insolvency process.”
So far, KordaMentha has raised $820,000 from the liquidation process, which will be directed to CBA – the main secured creditor – but other parties have been warned not to expect to see the money back.
The Commonwealth Bank is owed $8.8 million, but the bank is estimated to get back just $1 million.
Creditors were left out of pocket by an eye-watering $22.3 million after the explosive wage theft scandal saw MAdE Establishment collapse in February.
Company documents revealed that the MAdE company bank account had only $389 when it shut down.
Many smaller creditors, like suppliers to MAdE Establishment, are also owed money.
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