Boss sold home before company crash

 

SELLING UP

The founder and boss of a Gold Coast mobile phone business sold his waterfront property just two weeks before tipping the company into administration with nearly $3.3m in liabilities.

Jamien Zimmermann and his missus, Esma, pocketed $1.2m when they offloaded their jointly-owned Mermaid Waters home on June 17, records show.

Precisely 14 days later Zimmermann appointed an administrator over his solely-owned company TravelSIM Australia, which had flogged cheap SIM cards to international travellers since 2006.

TravelSIM founder Jamien Zimmermann.
TravelSIM founder Jamien Zimmermann.

Zimmermann now says he doesn't have the ability to repay a $312,026 personal loan from the company, which also lent almost $583,000 to six of his related entities.

These details emerged in a report released this week by administrator Jason Bettles, from insolvency mob Worrells.

With COVID-19 slamming the brakes on overseas trips, there are no prizes for guessing why the company fell over owing $1.28m to unsecured creditors and $222,109 for employee entitlements. Secured parties are chasing another $1.79m.

FINDING A BUYER

But Bettles still hopes to sell the TravelSIM business as a going concern. He's been negotiating with several interested parties, who have lobbed conditional offers and would clearly have to recapitalise the entity.

Bettles expects to finalise any potential sale by late Wednesday and report back to creditors at their second meeting, scheduled for next week.

If no deal can be struck, he has urged creditors to wind up TravelSIM because it's "clearly insolvent''.

Jason Bettles
Jason Bettles

It's unclear how much a liquidator could claw back for those owed money but he or she would have the power to examine questionable transactions while the company was still trading.

Among these are payments totalling $336,821 to 14 different creditors in the six months before the company collapsed. Bettles noted in his report that these transfers "may be preferential in nature and therefore potentially considered voidable''.

Out of reach would be a 22ha property at Tallebudgera acquired by Esma Zimmerman for $1.29m in 2013.

Jamian Zimmermann, who previously tried to offload TravelSIM without success, could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

END OF THE ROAD

Still on the Gold Coast, a father-and-son team operating a national freight business have reached the end of the road (so to speak).

Cameron Grayson and his young one, Ross, took steps this week to wind up their Grayson Haulage company, which they only launched in 2014.

Brisbane-based liquidator Shahin Hussain, who heads up H&H Advisory, told City Beat that it was still early days and he could provide no details on amounts owing to outside parties.

But he believed that coronavirus-related restrictions were at the heart of the troubles and noted that a secured creditor had already repossessed one of the company's trucks.

 

 

Grayson Haulauge was growing quickly before the onslaught of the pandemic, with 10 trucks operating between Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.

It had 16 staff and additional subbies to service big supermarkets and other clients.

Neither gent could be contacted on Tuesday.

SHAKE-UP CONTINUES

The former boss of Ruralco has been tapped to serve as chairman of a Queensland agricultural biotech player.

Travis Dillon will take the helm of the board of Sunshine Coast-based Terragen Holdings as it continues a sweeping reshuffle just six months after raising $20 million as part of an IPO.

Travis Dillon
Travis Dillon

Dillon left Ruralco after it was acquired in a $470 million deal last year by Canadian ag giant Nutrien. He replaces Dr Paul Schober, who will stay on as a non-executive director of Terragen.

Two more Terragen directors, Dr Greg Robinson and Dr John Ryals, are also stepping down from the board. Ryals, based in the US, will continue providing advice to the company.

These changes follow the ouster earlier this month of Justus Homburg, who spent three years as CEO.

The shake-up announced Tuesday comes as Terragen said sales grew 55 per cent last quarter but annual losses reached $3.5 million.

Originally published as Boss sold home before company crash


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