Following the appointment of administrators for embattled Australian electronics company AWA, suppliers have been informed that outstanding orders may not be secured and service staff are raising concerns about ongoing payment for their work.

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AWA entered administration last month with administrators announcing an “urgent review” of the business and a near-term focus on finding a buyer for the business and its assets. The company currently employs approximately 250 staff as well as a further network of subcontractors who provide service in 700 locations across Australia. At the time administrators were appointed, these service staff were seeing to approximately 15,000 service calls per month and the business was conducting roughly 40,000 “inventory transactions” per month.

Suppliers have been informed by administrators that it’s “business as usual” at AWA; however, staff have been notified that the administrators “will continue to assess our ability to trade on a day-to-day basis”.


In a letter circulated to suppliers on 26 February 2014, administrators outlined their responsibilities to AWA’s suppliers and the status of any business transactions with the collapsed company:

We are continuing to operate and trade the company on a ‘business as usual’ basis and do not expect the administration to affect the day-to-day operations.

We, as administrators will only accept liability for goods delivered or services rendered by suppliers if [they] have been authorised with a purchase order signed by one of our specified authorised signatories… We do not automatically accept liability for any orders placed prior to our appointment.

Please immediately close off any current account and remit a final invoice. That invoice, and the balance of any outstanding invoices, will represent an unsecured claim against the company.

Suppliers will be able to continue to trade with the company under new accounts (with administrator approval). Suppliers have also been informed that goods (including equipment or stock) provided to AWA on consignment will need to be registered with administrators.


Administrators have also been in touch with employees to inform them on the status of their entitlements with the company:

We are currently undertaking an immediate assessment of the business to determine the various options available…this may include selling the business and assets of the company. If a purchaser can be found, we will seek to transfer employee entitlements to them. We will continue to ass our ability to trade on a day-to-day basis.

At the current time, we can offer you continuing employment and will pay you at the same rate as paid by the company, during the administration trading period. Please note that as administrators, we will continue to honour, but not adopt, any existing employment contract you may have with the company.

Employees were advised that, if their employment was terminated, any claims for outstanding wages, holiday pay or redundancy pay would “rank for preferential treatment” but would ultimately be dependent on funding from assets that could be recovered through receivables and inventory.

Service contractors

Since news of AWA’s administration first broke, one person claiming to be a contracted service agent for AWA has taken to an online forum to voice concern over the collapse of the company.

‘Chriss’ posted that AWA was “not paying for warranty jobs for over 3 months and [had] no money to pay us”. Although these claims are unsubstantiated, Chriss also provided an extract of a letter claimed to be sent from the administrators regarding ongoing service work:

We ask that you continue to respond to service calls in the usual fashion. The Administrators undertake that all service calls which have been completed by you following our appointment will be paid for. If you have any money owing to you at the date of our appointment this will rank as an unsecured claim against the Company. At this time we do not know whether there will be sufficient funds to pay a dividend. All creditors will receive a circular explaining the process of the Administration in more detail including their ability to participate in the first and second creditors meetings.

Before entering administration, AWA provided as maintenance, warranty and after-sales service support to a number of major brands including Panasonic, TEAC, NEC, Cisco and Telstra BigPond. The company has also held contracts with a number of state government departments and stocked products (including entry-level LCD TVs) through Big W.

UPDATE: A spokesperson for Big W has confirmed with Appliance Retailer that its retail stores no longer stock AWA televisions:

Big W’s contract with AWA [to sell AWA product] ended late in 2013. The company does provide some warranty and after service sales support and this relationship is currently ongoing. If those services can’t be provided in future, Big W will address the issue at that point in time.

Are you a supplier, employee or service provider that has worked with AWA? Leave a comment below or contact the editorial team.