THE outcome that Kleenmaid founder and director Andrew Young had refused to face became a stark reality for thousands of the company's creditors yesterday when they were told to kiss their money goodbye.
Only hours before Kleenmaid went into voluntary administration two weeks ago, the Daily asked Mr Young what the future held for the Sunshine Coast-based whitegoods company.
He answered: “Do you think I've got a crystal ball? Do you think I work in a circus tent? Talk to fortune tellers about predictions.”
Or talk to Kleenmaid administrator John Greig of Deloitte.
At the company's first creditors' meeting in Brisbane yesterday, which drew a crowd of about 200, Mr Greig predicted Kleenmaid's 4500 creditors had almost no chance of getting their money or goods.
Mr Greig said Kleenmaid's initial debt to creditors of $67 million had climbed to $76 million, with the figure set to increase further once the landlords of the company's 20 stores submitted their claims.
Of the $76 million, $27.6 million is owed to Westpac, and customers are owed $27 million.
Trade customers and suppliers were behind $16 million, and 150 sacked employees were out of pocket by $3 million.
“The prospect of them (creditors) getting an acceptable outcome, as far as they are concerned, is fairly bleak,” Mr Greig told reporters following the closed meeting.
Making Mr Greig and his team's job more difficult is the elaborate maze of companies Mr Young and his brother, fellow Kleenmaid director Bradley Young, established in recent years.
Mr Greig, who revealed there was no money in Kleenmaid's bank accounts when it folded, said he was trying to work out the inter-relationship between the 14 companies in the group.
He said it was too early to say whether the company traded insolvent or if it would be liquidated.
Garry Watson, who has lost $28,000 through the collapse, said Andrew and Bradley Young had a lot to answer for.
“I don't know if it was intentional but they definitely ran the business outside the boundaries,” the Maroochydore resident alleged.
The Youngs did not attend yesterday's meeting.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.