Friday, 29 December 2023 18:03

Sad ending: Happy Valley Nutrition faces deregistration

Written by  Sudesh Kissun
Works at Happy Valley’s doomed milk plant project in Otorohanga stopped after the company ran out of cash Works at Happy Valley’s doomed milk plant project in Otorohanga stopped after the company ran out of cash

The end of the road is nigh for a former Australian-listed company, Happy Valley Nutrition, behind a failed dairy factory project in Otorohanga.

With the resignation of its last remaining director this month, Happy Valley was removed yesterday from the official list on Australian Stock Exchange. It’s also facing removal from the NZ company register next month.

Happy Valley and its subsidiary Five Redland Road Ltd (FRR) were put into administration six months ago. On December 7, the failed company owed creditors around $24 million – including $12.5m to trustee MC HVN Pty Ltd and $10m to 73 convertible note holders.

Happy Valley was set up in 2016 to build a greenfield milk processing site but struggled to obtain capital to complete the project. In 2021, Five Redlands purchased a 142ha site in Otorohanga for the proposed plant. However, ground works stalled after the company ran out of cash. Five Redland, a non-listed NZ registered company, is in liquidation. Administrators will be calling agents to sell the land and pay creditors.

Administrators Andrew Grenfell and Kare Johnstone, McGrathNicol were appointed in July. On 21 September 2023, a meeting of creditors was held where it was resolved that Happy Valley execute a deed of company arrangement (DOCA) to provide sufficient time for the administrators to conduct further investigations and allow the company to explore the possibility of recapitalisation and/or entering a sale of all or part of its business and/or assets.

The DOCA, executed on 3 October 2023, included a sunset date of 30 November 2023. After the sunset date had passed without extension or any restructuring proposal being progressed, the administrators announced the resignation of the last remaining director and chair Kevin Bush. The administrators also informed ASX that the termination of the DOCA meant they were no longer deed administrators and therefore had no authority regarding Happy Valley. But they remain administrators for Five Redland.

In an investor update earlier this month, Happy Valley hinted that it would be deregistered. It noted that with the termination of the DOCA, Happy Valley returns to the control of its directors, but the last director had resigned.

“Accordingly, we are liaising with the New Zealand Registrar of Companies to determine the impact on Happy Valley’s registration with the New Zealand Companies Office. The resignation of the last remaining director of HVN may result in the ASX delisting HVN and, at a minimum, trigger the eventual mandatory removal of HVN from the New Zealand company register.”

The company also noted that Five Redland Road wasn’t listed on ASX and is a New Zealand incorporated entity only.

“With the termination of the DOCA, FRR will automatically be placed into liquidation with the deed administrators appointed as liquidators in New Zealand with immediate effect.”

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