Kleenmaid liquidator clears up speculation

Deloitte, the liquidator of the collapsed Kleenmaid Group, has come out and denied speculation that the Kleenmaid brand and its customer data has been sold.

Richard Hughes, joint liquidator of Kleenmaid Group and Deloitte Partner, has hit back at speculation in the media that the Kleenmaid brand and its customer data have been sold by the liquidator, or in fact transferred at all.

But he did confirm that the fixed and floating charge that was previously held by GE Commercial Corporation Australia (GE) over Orchard KM Pty Limited (Orchard) had been assigned to DGH Holdings Pty Ltd (DGH) on 7 August.

“A charge is a security over certain assets, in the same way that a house is often used as the security for a residential mortgage.  A bank holding a mortgage does not own the subject property, and similarly, DGH’s charges over Orchard do not equate to ownership of Orchard’s assets which include the Kleenmaid brand,” he said.

“The assets that are covered by the fixed and floating charge include the intellectual property of Kleenmaid Group such as the Kleenmaid brand name.  I want to be absolutely clear on this – the assets remain the property of Orchard irrespective of who owns the charge.”

Hughes also emphasised that the Orchard assets will remain with Kleenmaid.

“In order to obtain ownership and/or control of these assets, DGH would need to appoint a controller or receiver or foreclose on Orchard,” he said.

“There are important legal steps that a person holding a charge is required to take to acquire or control charged property, and are legislated to protect the other secured and unsecured creditors of Orchard.  As far as we are aware, these steps have not been taken.”

In other related news, numerous Kleenmaid customers have been contacted recently by a company claiming to be the new Kleenmaid offering discounts on replacement products, Hughes reassured customers that legal advice has been sought over the matter.

“DGH and/or Compass Capital Partners have stated to these customers that they own the customer database.  We have sought legal advice on this issue.  It is clear that the customer database is owned by other entities in the Kleenmaid group.  Accordingly, we have today written to both DGH and Compass demanding that they discontinue use of the database, deliver it to the Liquidators and destroy all copies,” he said.

“I want to reiterate that we have not sold the Kleenmaid brand name or the customer database, nor allowed their use.  We are currently investigating how the database has been acquired.”

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