Messy collapse of Sydney car company owing $1.4m

Messy collapse of Sydney car company owing $1.4m
  • PublishedJanuary 31, 2024

A car company linked to a larger tradie contracting group has collapsed into liquidation with liabilities of $1.4 million.

News.com.au can reveal that earlier this month, Sydney-based Surelinc Fleet went into liquidation.

Its sole purpose was to lease cars to a sister company, Surelinc Services, which does heating, ventilation, airconditioning, maintenance and fire protection jobs.

Surelinc Services, headquartered in Alexandria, is not in liquidation and continues to operate.

The appointed liquidator of Surelinc Fleet, Daniel Frisken of insolvency firm O’Brien Palmer, said the car business had collapsed because its customer, Surelinc Services, stopped paying for the use of the vehicles.

As a result, Surelinc Fleet fell behind on its financial obligations and efforts to recover the money failed, forcing it to close down.

“They (the customer) stopped paying rental moneys,” Mr Frisken said.

Some of the leased cars included “high-end vehicles … which wouldn’t have been cheap” like Harley Davidsons, a Porsche and a Mercedes. “There were toys in there,” he added.

Surelinc Fleet leased a number of ‘toy’ cars. File photo.

Surelinc Fleet leased a number of ‘toy’ cars. File photo.

But in a twist, Surelinc Services and a former associate owe Surelinc Fleet $1.1 million for using its cars, according to a report lodged with the corporate regulator.

Had this amount been paid, the company would still be operating.

There was $1.35 million worth of cars attached to the company when Mr Frisken took over.

The tax office is owed $15,000.

Making matters more complicated is that some of the cars have disappeared.

Surelinc Fleet’s sole director, John Gavin, declined to comment to news.com.au.

But the report indicated that Mr Gavin believes 21 vehicles were transferred or are being held by a former associate of Surelinc Services.

A further eight vehicles have unknown whereabouts.

The director of Surelinc Services, Villi Ituau-Puletua, said he did not possess any of the cars and he believed some had been stolen.

Complaints have been raised to police, but NSW Police told news.com.au they had closed these cases as they determined they were civil disputes.

Neither Mr Gavin or Mr Ituau-Puletua are accused of taking the cars.

Both companies are part of a group of businesses, but are under separate management.

Mr Gavin is not involved in the running of Surelinc Services.

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Surelinc Service’s website.

Surelinc Service’s website.

At least two staff members from Surelinc Services say they are owed unpaid wages and superannuation.

Surelinc Services told news.com.au they had entered into a payment plan with one of the staff members.

The Fair Work Ombudsman confirmed to news.com.au that an investigation is underway.

Mr Gavin used to be part of other companies in the Surelinc group but had resigned from all positions.

An electrical company applied to have Surelinc Services wound up into liquidation over an unpaid debt last year but this case has since been settled.

SOURCE: NEWS.COM

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