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“Mate, we haven’t phoenixed anything.”

Wednesday, 23 May 2018
By Print21

‘We’re aiming to get stronger in digital’: Chris Kreiger, CEO Chameleon Group Australia.

Queensland-based commercial printer Chameleon is keeping busy a week after parent company Krico went into liquidation owing a reported $4 million, including more than $1 million to the ATO.

The high-profile commercial printer hasn’t drawn breath although it’s understood 13 staff members have lost their jobs at the company’s Bundaberg and Hervey Bay sites and are still seeking entitlements and super payments.

Krico called in liquidators from Sydney firm de Vries Tayeh Group last week to wind up the business, according to an ASIC listing.

A creditors report compiled by de Vries Tayeh found that the list of Krico’s 24 unsecured creditors is headed by Chameleon CEO Chris Kreiger, who is owed $2.8 million. It includes the Australian Taxation Office ($1.07m) and the Queensland Office of State Revenue ($158,502), Avery Dennison ($33,804), APN Newspapers ($11.625) and the PIAA ($1,947).

Krico had been owned by Kevin Kreiger, the father of Chris – who says the liquidation of Krico was part of a company restructure that had been recommended by business advisers. 

“We had an entity, Krico, that had not traded for 12 months and we’ve shut that down as a part of cleaning things up in the business,” said Chris Kreiger. “Chameleon Group stopped trading in October last year but Chameleon Group Australia (CGA) is going well. It’s business as usual and we’re keeping busy.”

Kreiger confirmed that CGA  is owned by his long-term partner, Emma Van Der Pluym. He dismissed industry scuttlebutt suggesting that the restructuring process resembled illegal phoenix activity.

“Mate, we haven’t phoenixed anything and everything we have done has been above board. I used to be a shareholder in the other one but she’s the sole owner of CGA. It was just easier to put it in her name and more beneficial to structure it this way. We have to make sure it stays afloat. 

“It’s a basic business restructuring where we’re aiming to get stronger in digital. We’ve shut down our manufacturing facility in Bundaberg but we still have a warehouse there. We’ve consolidated our print business in Hervey Bay and are continuing our manufacturing in Maryborough. We haven’t changed our machinery or capability but some jobs have been lost along the way, about ten or so, but we’ll probably be rehiring again.”

Chameleon Group includes a number of print businesses including The Sticker Company, McTaggarts, Digital PowerHouse, SignTec, Henderson & Horton signs and Innovation Graphix.

13 Responses to ““Mate, we haven’t phoenixed anything.””

  1. May 23, 2018 at 2:10 pm,

    Honest Observer
    said:

    What a political load of diatribe from Kreiger totally avoiding the truth. Kreiger omitted to explain to Print21 the reason the shareholding and directorship is in his partner’s name is because he was banned from being a company director in addition to receiving a 12 month suspended prison sentence in 2013 after a conviction for insurance fraud in 2010. Couldn’t lie straight in bed!

  2. May 23, 2018 at 5:56 pm,

    Fred
    said:

    I’m am sick and tired seeing this happening in Australia over and over again.
    When does the Governmant start cracking down on people like them?
    How is it even possible to owe that much money to suppliers and the ATO?
    We all lose out, when taxes are not paid.
    I know of so many companies that planned going bust, as they already set up everything beforehand.

  3. May 23, 2018 at 7:09 pm,

    Rob
    said:

    Easy answer, don’t deal with them, let them die a slow death.
    I feel for the staff who they ripped of.

  4. May 23, 2018 at 7:16 pm,

    Old Tme Regional QLD Printer
    said:

    I am a regional Printer in QLD, not too far from where this chap operates. Our company pays its taxes, it pays its employees entitlements. Our suppliers in all probability are the same. SO I ask of you suppliers, are you going to continue to supply a re-constituted (Phoenix…what phoenix?) company that fails to contribute to Australia, proven by the same people being involved and only has the interests of its (pseudo) directors at heart. And when they go broke, yes, when, will your insurance company pay up? and will your premiums increase? and will our prices increase? Reminds me of GEON and look what happened to you then suppliers? And …..Tax department, how the hell did they run up a bill of over 1 million dollars, that means they were trading insolvently for a long time! Its just not a level playing field if one team plays dirty and breaks the rules, its worse if the referees allow them to get away with it!!! This is not acceptable behaviour and you the people concerned do not deserve to use or be involved in the great industry that is PRINT.

  5. May 23, 2018 at 11:03 pm,

    Who Wantstoknow
    said:

    As an industry we only have ourselves to blame. Suppliers are only interested in market share and win at all cost mentality. “We’re aiming to get stronger in digital” and I know that the vendors were in negotiations.

  6. May 24, 2018 at 8:08 am,

    Banksy
    said:

    Really Suppliers, if you give these people another chance to fleece you then you deserve everything you get.

    If I were in QLD and my suppliers were dealing with these people, I wouldn’t be happy. They are effectively making sure the honest printers are subsidising this firm.

  7. May 24, 2018 at 10:11 am,

    Old Tme Regional QLD Printer
    said:

    The liquidation appears to have been done very selectively and carefully. On the creditors’ list (allegedly) are Ergon Energy a Radio and TV companies, Avery and a few trade suppliers, the tax department etc, the former director, 13 x names of staff (with no value as to their entitlements), however none of the mainstream suppliers are on there, so it can only be assumed that they have received and been paid funds from a company that was trading insolvently for some time! Is that legal?

  8. May 24, 2018 at 11:45 am,

    Finance officer
    said:

    13 staff members have just lost their and still seeking their entitlements? was this because they were working under Krico, but he said Krico hasnt been trading for the last 12 months.

  9. May 24, 2018 at 11:45 am,

    No Dollars
    said:

    I find ‘The business as usual’ comment that Krieger keeps quoting offensive as from what I hear he laid off 12 staff some of them with more than 12 years service with the company from one day to the next with no warning and no money. There is no doubt that Krico was going to liquidate to rid itself of its tax liabilities. Stealing from the government is in itself disgusting but stealing the entitlements of workers who are struggling is a crime that should be tolerated. I have heard that the workers were not even given letters of separation or termination letters for more than a week so could not even get emergency help from Centrelink. I feel for all of the employees who lost their jobs and for the ones still employed as one cannot see the ‘new’ company surviving if it continues to keep the ethics and morals of its predecessor.

  10. May 24, 2018 at 1:00 pm,

    Digital officer
    said:

    I find it laughable that a company that wants to go ‘digital’ sacked those that could make it possible to happen, I wonder how many people will be standing at the gate applauding when they hang their heads in shame when the truth comes out ‘Phoenix not phoenix’

  11. May 28, 2018 at 12:54 pm,

    Its not what you think..honest
    said:

    Blaming former staff for trying to discredit him. Would that be the 13 sacked staff or ALL staff that havent been paid super?
    Also claiming he is owed 2.8 million, so much bullshit stacking up its hard to see the truth.

    https://www.pressreader.com/australia/newsmail/20180525/281496456950317

  12. May 30, 2018 at 10:56 pm,

    Tania
    said:

    sorry missed one…..change of laws 2017 https://www.intheblack.com/articles/2018/02/01/new-laws-phoenix-activity

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