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Optometry ‘chain’ placed under Administration

21/11/2018By Myles Hume
Five optometry practices face an uncertain future after their operating company was placed into administration.

Creditors were scheduled to meet yesterday to discuss the next stage for Queensland-based The Eyewear Collective, after legal proceedings were brought against it two months ago.

An application to the Queensland Supreme Court to wind up the company was made on August 21 by optometrist Ms Rita Thurston and Ebonglen Pty Ltd.

Mr Blair Pleash and Mr David Ingram, of Hall Chadwick Chartered Accountants, were subsequently appointed administrators, by resolution of the company director, on November 8.

The Eyewear Collective, incorporated in May 2015, operated practices in Queensland’s Shailer Park, Burleigh Heads and Wellington Point, as well as Ocean Shores and North Rocks in New South Wales.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) records Mr Brendon Confoy of Ocean Grove, Victoria as director and secretary of The Eyewear Collective.

It is understood that Thurston’s Shailer Park practice was ‘acquired’ by The Eyewear Collective and the wind up application results from unpaid money to her.

The administrators told Insight they were not yet in a position to comment on what led to the company’s financial troubles, how much creditors claim to be owed, or what the future holds for the practices and their employees.

“At this stage, the administrators are continuing to trade the company whilst they undertake a review and assessment of the company’s operations and determine the feasibility of a Deed of Company Arrangement proposal,” Pleash said.

A Deed of Company Arrangement is a binding arrangement between the company and creditors determining how the company’s affairs will be dealt with.

According to an ASIC notice, the first creditors’ meeting was to be held at the offices of Hall Chadwick Chartered Accounts in Brisbane yesterday.

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The meeting was scheduled to determine whether to appoint a committee of inspection and, if so, who its members would be. Creditors could also vote to remove the administrators from office and appoint someone else.

The administrators are also seeking expressions of interest for the sale of business and/or the company’s assets.

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