Optometry group owes $1.5 million to creditors

A company placed under administration while operating five optometry practices has debts totalling more than $1.5 million, according to a preliminary creditors’ report obtained by Insight.

At least 37 creditors, including more than a dozen staff mbers, claim to be owed $1.53 million by The Eyewear Collective, a group of five practices in Queensland and northern NSW.

The largest unsecured creditor appears to be the company’s director and secretary, Mr Brendon Confoy, who is claiming to be owed around $350,000.

The company continues to be operated under administrators Mr Blair Pleash and Mr David Ingram, of Hall Chadwick Charted Accountants, who were appointed on November 8.

Insight understands there have been negotiations to acquire The Eyewear Collective as a going concern, however the complicated nature of the sale resulted in months of extended negotiations that had not concluded by the time a winding up application was filed.

It’s believed a sale could still proceed in the coming weeks, pending the outcome of action undertaken by administrators.

Ms Rita Thurston and her company Ebonglen Ltd initiated wind up legal proceedings against The Eyewear Collective in the Queensland Supreme Court on August 21, alleging the company owed her $110,000.

It’s understood Thurston’s Shailer Park practice in Queensland was ‘acquired’ by the company and the legal proceedings stem from unpaid money to her.

The creditors’ report lists staff as being owed $20,000 in superannuation while two secured creditors, Capital Finance and Macquarie Leasing, claim debts of $165,000.

Unsecured creditors, including many industry suppliers, have made claims amounting to $1.35 million.

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

A Hall Chadwick Chartered Accountants spokesperson said the administrators were not yet in a position to comment on proceedings. Confoy also declined to comment when contacted by Insight.

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