Emotions brewing at brewery’s plight

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AN Invercargill engineering firm claims it is out of pocket by “more than $100,000” following the financial troubles at Invercargill Brewery.

The well-known business within the New Zealand brewing scene went into receivership last month.

Weldtech Ltd director Nicola McGilvray said the engineering firm was still owed money from the previous Invercargill Brewery ownership.

The situation had become “messy” and “stressful”, she said.

The engineering business had built brewing equipment for Invercargill Brewery and Ms McGilvray said that equipment was leased to the brewery, which had won national awards.

In 2014, company founder, head brewer, director and shareholder Steve Nally told media the partnership with Weldtech Ltd was a good fit.

“We found we invested a lot of money in stainless steel and, as soon as we outgrew the equipment, it reverted to scrap value. That’s a lot of capital, a lot of depreciation and paperwork,” Mr Nally said in 2014.

“Now if we outgrow a piece of equipment, [Weldtech Ltd] can refurbish it and lease it to another brewery that’s in an earlier growth phase; we all win.”

According to Ms McGilvray, Weldtech Ltd had not received lease payments for the brewing equipment for two years.

Ms McGilvray visited Invercargill Brewery last Tuesday to arrange to get the equipment back, but said she was asked by Mr Nally to leave.

That evening Ms McGilvray was presented with a trespass notice, which warned her to stay away from Invercargill Brewery’s Leet St premises for two years.

She did not expect to recoup the money owed with the brewing business in receivership and now set to operate under a new ownership title.

Weldtech Ltd now had lawyers involved to try to get back what it believed was its property, and also look into actions of the previous owners, Ms McGilvray said.

When Ms McGilvray’s view of the situation was put to Mr Nally, he said: “We are working with the receiver towards the best possible outcome for all involved.”

He then referred the Southland Express to Dunedin-based receiver Trevor Laing for any further comment.

Mr Nally has remained at the Invercargill Brewery business with the new ownership. A fortnight ago it was reported the business would continue to trade as Invercargill Brewery and would operate as a family-owned business, but under new management.

Mr Laing confirmed the receivers had entered into an agreement with a buyer and had received a deposit for the sale of certain business assets.

“The sale is a complicated process. In addition to the sale of company assets, the receivers also have inventory and accounts receivable to collect,” Mr Laing said.

“There are significant secured and preferential debts that rank ahead of unsecured creditors. The receivers are charged with realising assets for the secured creditors.”

Following the news that Invercargill Brewery had gone into receivership, the Leet St building was tagged with graffiti which said “Pay Me”.

Ms McGilvray said she was not aware who tagged the building. She believed there were more creditors owed money than just Weldtech Ltd.

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