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2018 news wrap: If it flies again is it a phoenix

Friday, 21 December 2018
By Wayne Robinson

Phoenix business are the bane of any industry, as they effectively shed their debt for next to nothing and start again, or carry on, while competitors have to operate paying their way, which means they have to charge more for their print.

Two high profile cases, both of whom denied they were phoenixes, occupied the minds of rival printers this year, Chameleon in Queensland, and Picton Press in WA.

Haven’t phonenixed anything: Chris Krieger, Chameleon

Chameleon was part of the Krico Group, owned by Kevin Krieger. It went belly up in May owing $4m to unsecured creditors, but a new company soon emerged, Chameleon Group Australia Pty Ltd, owned by office admin worker Emma van der Pluym, who also happened to be the long time girlfriend of Krieger’s son Chris Krieger.

Chris Krieger himself is currently banned from being a company director on account of being convicted of an insurance fraud involving a fire and a printer which did not exist. Krieger told Print21, ‘Mate we haven’t phoenixed anything’.

Across the country in WA Picton Press owners Garry Kennedy and Denis Hague put the business into voluntary administration in May when they failed to come up with the cash for the $1.3m they owed to the ATO, which then sought a winding up order.

Deed of Company Arrangement sees a $3.6m debt become maximum $72,000: Picton Press

Four months later the administrator managed to get a Deed of Company Arrangement into play, despite almost all the unsecured creditors voting against it, hardly surprising as they were offered between just 1c and 2c in the dollar on the $3.6m they were owed.

The rest of the Perth printing community is up in arms at the prospect of Picton competing again when it has managed to translate a $3.6m debt into a sum of between $36,000 and $72,000.

One Response to “2018 news wrap: If it flies again is it a phoenix”

  1. December 23, 2018 at 1:51 pm,

    Who Wantstoknow

    Once again, the industry in particular the suppliers will never learn. Greed and market share is all they care about. Until all the Suppliers both equipment and supplies stop trading with the new entity this will continue. The only way we can stop this happening as an industry, Supplier’s customers stop trading with them period. Otherwise the hypocrisy will continue. Money talks, BS walks.

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