Interpak to pack up

2016-03-17 11:10
Interpak staff stand outside the premises after hearing about the company’s application for liquidation.

Interpak staff stand outside the premises after hearing about the company’s application for liquidation. (Sabelo Nsele, The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg - An application has been made to liquidate well-known Pietermaritzburg company Interpak Books, which has been in business rescue since February this year.

Employees of the company have blamed the company’s director Grant Hubbard for its problems.

They allege they have not been paid their salaries for several months, and have now been left jobless without any hope of having their outstanding monies paid.

Interpak Books applied for business rescue, which came into effect in late February, in an attempt to save the business.

Employees, who would not be named, said that assets were taken out of the company without permission. In addition, customers were being told to pay into an account that was not an Interpak business account.

E-mails to this effect were sent out to employees a few months ago, a customer care employee said.

The e-mail said customers would be advised into which account monies should be paid, but that “no deposits are to be paid into the Interpak deposit account”.

Another allegation was that machinery from Interpak was decommissioned, packed on to trucks and moved out of the building, supposedly to Cape Town.

When the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) took over the failing business, it sent an e-mail, which was leaked to The Witness, asking to hire security to prevent any more assets being removed from the premises.

Hubbard said in response to the allegations that Interpak Books had fallen under the administration of an approved business rescue practitioner.

“Any and all commercial decisions related to continuing trade, payments to staff and creditors, and other commercial transactions are cleared and ratified by him.

“This includes most matters contained in the allegations that staff have raised with you.”

Hubbard said the business rescue practitioner had found that there was no reasonable chance of the process succeeding due to the “company’s inability to raise post commencement funding within 10 days of his appointment”.

“As such, the practitioner has made application for liquidation, which I understand was filed on March 15.

“This situation is both sad and stressful for all stakeholders. The shock of it has also resulted in many uninformed and unfounded allegations,” he said.

Hubbard said staff had been paid 90% of their February salaries, and the balance and other staff-related commitments would be settled as a matter of priority.

“I have no further comment on the many spurious and unfounded allegations,” he said.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  business  |  liquidation

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