Panasonic insurer pursues individual Betta Electrical stores

By James Wells

SYDNEY: The credit insurer for Panasonic Australia has sent threatening legal letters to individual Betta Electrical franchisees, to recover money owed to it following the collapse of the owner of the franchisor, Betta Stores Limited (BSL), in October this year.

In documents obtained by Current.com.au, Gray Perkins lawyers, acting on behalf of Atradius Credit Insurance – Panasonic’s credit insurer – have sent letters to individual Betta Electrical franchisees stating that money is still owed through BSL agreements with suppliers.

The companies that the letter refers to include: Betta Stores Limited, Betta Stores (Southern), Betta Stores (Northern), A K Trsucott Investments, Truscott Electronics, Truscott Finance, and PGA & Associates.

“As you are aware, administrators and receivers and mangers (sic) were appointed to the Companies on 5 October 2006. This letter sets out the legal basis upon which the Companies are required to account to Panasonic in relation to goods supplied by Panasonic to the Companies and its franchisees,” the letter said.

By highlighting sections of the agreements, the letter states that “title in the Panasonic Goods does not pass to the buyer until payment has been made in full to Panasonic".

“In view of the refusal of the receivers and managers to agree to set aside the proceeds of sale of the goods supplied by Panasonic, it has become necessary to send this letter directly to you.”

The letter also asks the retailers to provide accurate details of money paid and owing as well as stock details identifying the Panasonic goods in possession at the date of the appointment of receivers (5 October) as well as the current date.

The letter asked the franchisees to provide the information prior to the deadline of Friday 8 December 2006.

“It may be necessary for our client to proceed with an application to the Supreme Court requiring you to provide the information sought and seeking orders that the balance of funds owing in relation to the Panasonic Goods be paid into a joint account pending determination of all issues between Panasonic and the Companies," the letter said.

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