The collapse of South Australian construction and engineering firm York Civil has left 350 businesses owed $14 million, small business commissioner John Chapman says.
York Civil creditors met on Thursday after the company announced it was entering voluntary administration last week and ceased trading on Monday.
“The figures don’t look good for the unsecured creditors,” Mr Chapman told reporters after the meeting.
“Based on the figures I saw there today it is unlikely that they will get a return.
“There are secured creditors with the banks but there seems to be about 350 unsecured creditors across three states.”
Mr Chapman said that, in a bid to expand, the company entered into a number of joint ventures – and some have caused it “real difficulty”.
He said the partner of unsecured creditors in joint-ventures will be left to pick up past debts and future costs but others may suffer greater losses.
“The area that is of great concern seems the unsecured creditors on the non-government jobs and it does seem unlikely that they will get a return,” he said.
Premier Steven Marshall has described York Civil’s collapse, which cost up to 190 jobs, as sad news for South Australia.
“I think there will be a post-mortem as to exactly what has gone wrong at York Civil,” Mr Marshall said.
The company was involved with the delay-plagued but almost complete North Terrace tram extension and the Torrens to Torrens section of the $800 million upgrade to Adelaide’s South Road corridor.
It has worked on a number of projects in Western Australia, including the Perth Stadium footbridge and major roadworks at Sydney’s new Northern Beaches Hospital as well as upgrades to the Pacific and Princes highways in NSW and Queensland.