By Chris Nicholls
ADELAIDE: Harding and Manning Retravision’s two stores in Whyalla and Port Augusta have gone into voluntary administration, citing a split between the two partner families.
In a release sent to suppliers by managing franchiser Retravision Western, chief executive Paul Holt said the appointment of the administrators was “due to irreconcilable differences between the two controlling directors.”
Holt said the move “had nothing whatsoever to do with store performance, which has been strong over many years until this breakdown in relationship occurred.”
“My team has been well aware of this problem over a number of months and I can assure you that there will be no financial impact on our business or on yours. Ideally, one of the existing partners is keen to restore “business as usual” subject to a satisfactory outcome with the administrator,” said Holt.
Holt claimed South Australian business was “performing strongly across the board” with double digit growth year-on-year and was “fully secured and insured to our mutual benefit”.
Both stores are currently trading, but Retravision Whyalla store manager, Jason Buckley, said he could do nothing until the administrator had finished its work.
“We are just following orders at this stage,” he said.
Buckley said the breakdown in the two families’ relationship came after senior partners on his side of the relationship passed away.
“The old guys died on our side, and there was nobody left from our side except for me to run it, and I don’t want to be here, and the other side quit, so we came to an impasse that [meant] we will wind the company up.”
“It’s pretty basic. And this was the only way we could think of getting out. I know you normally wouldn’t do it this way, but we couldn’t get much cooperation out of our other people.
“Both sides of the family signed the document, so in the end, the agreement was ‘OK, let’s just wind it up’.”
Buckley said the “fragmented” ownership structure of the company had been ‘pushed together for 39 years and warranted a good clean out anyway.”