Godfreys Group Pty Ltd and its associated Australian entities (All Subject to Deed of Company Arrangement)

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Updates

Godfreys Group Pty Ltd and its Australian subsidiaries listed in the table below (All Subject to Deed of Company Arrangement) (collectively, Godfreys)

Craig Crosbie, Robert Ditrich and Daniel Walley of PricewaterhouseCoopers Australia (PwC) were appointed Joint and Several Deed Administrators (Deed Administrators) of the Godfreys Group on 13 June 2024 pursuant to Section 444A(2) of the Corporations Act 2001 (Act).

Entity Table

Entity Name Appointment Details ACN ABN Appointee(s)
Godfreys Group Pty Ltd Deed Administration
Thu, Jun 13, 24
602722985 35602722985 Craig Crosbie
Robert Ditrich
Daniel Walley
Australian Vacuum Cleaner Co Pty Ltd Deed Administration
Thu, Jun 13, 24
004568441 65004568441 Craig Crosbie
Robert Ditrich
Daniel Walley
Electrical Home-Aids Pty Ltd Deed Administration
Thu, Jun 13, 24
007539577 62007539577 Craig Crosbie
Robert Ditrich
Daniel Walley
Godfreys Finance Company Pty Ltd Deed Administration
Thu, Jun 13, 24
602729019 33602729019 Craig Crosbie
Robert Ditrich
Daniel Walley
Godfreys Franchise Systems Pty Ltd Deed Administration
Thu, Jun 13, 24
007873681 62007873681 Craig Crosbie
Robert Ditrich
Daniel Walley
Hoover Floorcare Asia Pacific Pty Ltd Deed Administration
Thu, Jun 13, 24
086345575 37086345575 Craig Crosbie
Robert Ditrich
Daniel Walley
International Cleaning Solutions Group Pty Ltd Deed Administration
Thu, Jun 13, 24
120157191 11120157191 Craig Crosbie
Robert Ditrich
Daniel Walley
International Cleaning Solutions Pty Ltd Deed Administration
Thu, Jun 13, 24
119462798 24119462798 Craig Crosbie
Robert Ditrich
Daniel Walley

Second Meetings of creditors and appointment of Deed Administrators

Godfreys has now ceased trading and all retail stores closed.

The Second Meetings of creditors (Second Meetings) of Godfreys Group Pty Ltd and its Australian subsidiaries (collectively, Godfreys Group) were held on Tuesday, 4 June 2024. 

A recording of the Second Meetings webcast can be viewed using this link - https://event.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1670725&tp_key=83443b6576 

Creditors resolved at the Second Meetings that each entity in the Godfreys Group of companies should enter into a Deed of Company Arrangement (DOCAs). The DOCAs were executed on 13 June 2024 and Craig Crosbie, Robert Ditrich and Daniel Walley of PwC were appointed joint and several Deed Administrators (Deed Administrators) of the Godfreys Group companies. The DOCAs and notice to creditors that the DOCAs have been executed (Form 509E) can be viewed and downloaded from the “documents” section of this website.

Employee creditors

Under the DOCAs, employee creditors will receive payment in full (100 cents in the dollar) of their outstanding employee entitlements that accrued prior to 30 January 2024 (Pre-Appointment Entitlements).

The Deed Administrators will now commence the process to distribute unpaid Pre-Appointment Entitlements.

You will shortly receive a letter from the Deed Administrators outlining the distribution process and your Pre-Appointment Entitlements. If you agree with your Pre-Appointment Entitlements as outlined therein, there is nothing further that you need to do.

If you HAVE NOT received a letter by Thursday, 20 June 2024 and you believe you are owed Pre-Appointment Entitlements, IT IS VERY IMPORTANT that you send details of your claim to godfreys@au.pwc.com

The dividend to employee creditors will be paid on or around 9 August 2024.

Ordinary unsecured creditors

There will be no return to ordinary unsecured creditors (including customer creditors) of the Godfreys Group companies. Ordinary unsecured creditors can submit a formal proof of debt form if they want, by going to the documents section of the Godfreys PwC insolvency website from Monday, 17 June 2024 and downloading the relevant information and forms – https://insolvency.pwc.com.au/.

Committee of Inspection

In accordance with the terms of the DOCAs executed, the Committee of Inspection (COI) which was nominated by creditors at the first meetings of creditors, will continue to be the COI of each of the Godfreys Group companies. The COI members are:

  • Ben Meredith, employee
  • Bree Vare-Lucas, employee
  • Richard Beissel of Cowell Clarke, representing 1918 Finance Pty Ltd
  • Sujata Jeraj of Bissell Australia Pty Limited, representing Bissell Australia Pty Limited
  • Leonie Chard of Scentre Group, representing Scentre Shopping Centre Management Pty Ltd

Administrators’ Report to creditors

The Administrators Report to creditors (Administrators’ Report) was issued to all known creditors of the Godfreys Group on 27 May 2024. A copy of the Administrators Report can be found in the documents section of this website.

The report, among other things, outlines the outcome of the Administrators’ investigations into the Godfreys Group’s business, property, affairs and financial circumstances. 

Court Orders

Copies of the Court orders obtained by the Administrators on both 5 February 2024 and 24 May 2024 can be found in the documents section of this website below.

Concurrent First Meetings of Creditors

The Concurrent First Meetings of Creditors (First Meetings) were held on Friday, 9 February 2024 – a recording of the meeting is available here:

https://event.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1654522&tp_key=49976deea4

NZ Administration

Liquidators were appointed at the second meeting of creditors (‘watershed meeting’) for the Godfreys Group’s New Zealand subsidiary, New Zealand Vacuum Cleaner Co Ltd (NZCN 1075877). Please refer to the PwC NZ insolvency website for details related to the NZ administration https://www.pwc.co.nz/services/business-restructuring/voluntary-administration.html.

Frequently Asked Questions

We understand you may have a number of questions in relation to the Deed Administration. Please refer to the FAQ (frequently asked questions) document which is updated regularly and available on this website.

MEDIA RELEASE DATED 30-JAN-24
Godfreys Group enters Voluntary Administration

Godfreys Group Pty Ltd and its subsidiaries in Australia and New Zealand (‘Godfreys’) have today entered into Voluntary Administration. Established in 1931, Godfreys is one of the world’s largest vacuum retailers and one of Australia and New Zealand’s leading suppliers of specialty commercial floor care and associated cleaning products. The business operates 141 stores and employs more than 600 staff across Australia and New Zealand, with an additional 28 stores run by franchisees.

Craig Crosbie, Robert Ditrich and Daniel Walley of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Australia have been appointed as Voluntary Administrators of the Australian entities. John Fisk and Stephen White of PwC New Zealand have been appointed Voluntary Administrators over the New Zealand subsidiary.

The Administrators will continue to trade the Godfreys business while undertaking an immediate operational restructure and sale process. As a result of the restructure, it is anticipated that 54 stores will be closed within the next 14 days, affecting the employment of approximately 193 staff, 171 in Australia and 22 in New Zealand. Commenting on the appointment, Mr Crosbie said: “Like many retailers, Godfreys has faced a challenging economic and operating environment. Lower customer demand amid cost of living pressures, higher operating costs, and increased competition have all taken a toll on profitability, with some stores more impacted than others. “Our aim is to move quickly to restructure Godfreys to preserve as much of the business and as many jobs as possible. We intend to trade the restructured store network and sell the business and assets as a going concern, with strong interest expected from prospective buyers.

“We will continue to work closely with Godfreys’ director, management, and creditors, including staff whose employment is unfortunately impacted by store closures,” Mr Crosbie added.

Godfreys’ director, Mr Grant Hancock, said: “While the decision to appoint Administrators was difficult, it was made with the best interests of Godfreys’ employees, customers and broader stakeholders in mind.” The first meeting of creditors will be held on Friday, 9 February 2024.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Fergus Ross (Six Degrees): 0420 980 448

Ben Jarvis (Six Degrees): 0413 150 448

MEDIA RELEASE DATED 22-FEB-24
UPDATE FROM THE ADMINISTRATORS OF GODFREYS GROUP

The Administrators of Godfreys Group of Companies (‘Godfreys’) in Australia and New Zealand advise that the process of identifying a potential purchaser of the business is advancing strongly ahead of the deadline for indicative offers on 27 February 2024. Working in conjunction with PwC Australia’s Corporate Advisory team, the Administrators are pleased with the number of parties that have expressed interest and proceeded into the data room as part of the stage one phase of due diligence. While the details remain confidential, these parties include multiple leading retail brands and investment groups.

Administrator and PwC Australia Partner Craig Crosbie said: “The strong interest from potential acquirers of the restructured business is a testament to the enduring Godfreys brand, the loyalty of the customer base and the performance of the Godfreys team across 113 stores in Australia and New Zealand that continue to trade.”

“As the cut-off for indicative bids looms, we are encouraged by the appetite among blue chip retailers and investors to take the business forward. The quality and volume of interested parties have exceeded expectations, and we will move confidently towards evaluating the most viable offers.”

MEDIA RELEASE – 20 MARCH 2024
UPDATE ON THE VOLUNTARY ADMINISTRATION OF GODFREYS

The Administrators of Godfreys Group of Companies (‘Godfreys’) today advise that after conducting a comprehensive process to identify a purchaser for the business, no viable offers to take the business forward as a going concern have been submitted. With interested parties withdrawing and no satisfactory bids to acquire Godfreys store network yet received, the Administrators have no other option but to commence a progressive wind down of Godfreys’ operations in Australia and New Zealand. Godfreys’ staff have now been informed that a phased closure of all stores will be initiated between now and 31 May 2024, unfortunately affecting their ongoing employment. This includes having to make 25 head office staff redundant as of today. Godfreys stores will continue to trade on an interim basis to provide a reasonable period for the clearance of existing stock, after which stores will be notified that closures will take effect.

Franchisees have been informed that Godfreys can no longer support them from today. Franchised stores can trade until 31 March 2024 to realise the value of existing stock or alternatively return stock sold to them during the administration period to receive a credit on amounts owed to Godfreys. 

Administrator and PwC Australia Partner Craig Crosbie said that while 55 expressions of interest and 6 indicative offers were received during the sale process, these were either since withdrawn or not sufficient in securing the business’ longer-term future.

“This is not the outcome Godfreys had hoped for following a rigorous process to find a purchaser for the business that could keep the store network trading. In the absence of any further bidders coming forward as intermittent trading continues, the process of closing all remaining stores will progress over the next eight weeks.   

“We recognise this is a difficult time for staff, franchisees, and other stakeholders, and we will continue to work closely with all parties to ensure they are informed and supported over the coming weeks.” 

Appointment Details

Godfreys Group Pty Ltd, Australian Vacuum Cleaner Co Pty Ltd, Electrical Home-Aids Pty Ltd, Godfreys Finance Company Pty Ltd, Godfreys Franchise Systems Pty Ltd, Hoover Floorcare Asia Pacific Pty Ltd, International Cleaning Solutions Group Pty Ltd, International Cleaning Solutions Pty Ltd
Entity Name Godfreys Group Pty Ltd, Australian Vacuum Cleaner Co Pty Ltd, Electrical Home-Aids Pty Ltd, Godfreys Finance Company Pty Ltd, Godfreys Franchise Systems Pty Ltd, Hoover Floorcare Asia Pacific Pty Ltd, International Cleaning Solutions Group Pty Ltd, International Cleaning Solutions Pty Ltd
Trading Name
Appointment Type Deed Administration
Appointment Date Thu, Jun 13, 24
Contact Name Monique Shearwood
Contact Email godfreys@au.pwc.com
Contact Phone +61
Contact Address 2 Riverside Quay
South Bank VIC 3006
Australia Company Number (ACN) 602722985
Australian Business Number (ABN) 35602722985
Appointee(s) Craig Crosbie
Robert Ditrich
Daniel Walley