BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - Brisbane-based injection molder Ruskin Industries Ltd. has entered voluntary administration, the Australian equivalent of bankruptcy.
Accounting firm KPMG Australia was appointed administrator June 21. Ruskin, a publicly traded company, injection molds products for the Australian dairy and fruit juice markets.
Ian Davies, Ruskin's chief financial officer, said it was the board's decision to enter administration and was not the result of pressure by its bank, Sydney-based National Australia Bank Ltd., or key suppliers. The company owes A$13 million (US$6.7 million) to suppliers, but total debt has not been finalized.
Davies said the administration is the result of competition, high costs, the state of the Australian dollar and a decline in sales that is a ``reflection of a soft economy.''
This year, Ruskin lost a contract with Sydney-based Sara Lee Bakery (Australia) Pty. Ltd. to Melbourne-based competitor Polarcup (Australia) Ltd., and in the past year, Sydney-based ice cream manufacturer Dairy Bell Ice Cream (Australia) Pty. Ltd. reduced its orders.
Davies said Ruskin will continue to trade during the reorganization.
``The aim is to sell the business as a going concern,'' he said. ``The two businesses, Ruskin Plastics Holdings Pty. Ltd. at Tullamarine and Ruskin Plastics Pty. Ltd. at Lismore will be sold separately or together,'' Davies said.
Several buyers have expressed interest, but he said it is premature to name them. The proposed sale was advertised June 28. Bids will be accepted through July 17. Administrator Colin Nicol said KPMG is assessing the business.
Ruskin's A$15 million (US$7.8 million) Tullamarine factory opened in late 1998.