I think readers in Victoria and NSW etc (and probably nationally in Fairfax) where your story was published, need to know the TRUTH Carolyn.carolynwebb wrote:Hello. I'm a journalist at The Age newspaper.
Am keen to speak to creditors or anyone else who might have information about the company.
Please email me at carolynwebb [at] fairfaxmedia.com.au or ring 03 8667 2134.
Off the record if you wish.
Thanks. Carolyn Webb.
It appears you were fed large shovelfuls of steaming manure when you ran your previous glowing story linked above.
Mr Sumner appears to have given you all kinds of comforting assurances and promises after his powers as a Director had been stripped from him, but you reported them anyway. And you referred to him as Chief Executive.
Many vendors with $100,000s of material booked in for 2018 might have read your piece, and been comforted and re-assured all was fine and under control.
http://www.smh.com.au/national/auction-house-mossgreen-goes- ... 0abvf.html
And then Carolyn, you cheerfully go on to list numerous other past sales from the 'glory days' - a bit like a losing Football coach reminding all of his team successes in 2014 and 2012 et, that are totally irrelevant in 2018, when you are down near bottom of the league!Auction house Mossgreen enters voluntary administration
Carolyn Webb is a reporter for "The Age".
The co-owner of high-profile art gallery and auction house Mossgreen says creditors will not be out of pocket after the shock news the company has gone into voluntary administration.
Paul Sumner, who is also chief executive and co-founder, said the move was due to debts following the company's rapid expansion and the withdrawal of its key investor.
On December 21 Mossgreen, which has branches in Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland, thanked customers via its Facebook page for their 2017 support and announced its holiday office closure.
The next day, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission announced that administrators had been appointed for Mossgreen Pty Ltd.
A BDO media release says they are undertaking "an urgent assessment of the business and will be exploring all options".
The first meeting of creditors will be held in BDO's Melbourne office on January 4.
Mossgreen was founded in Melbourne in 2004 by Mr Sumner and wife Amanda Swanson. Its significant recent growth was bankrolled by businessman Jack Gringlas.
In 2013, Mossgreen acquired coin, stamp and memorabilia experts Charles Leski Auctions and in 2015 acquired New Zealand auction house Webb's.
In 2016, Mossgreen opened its first Sydney auction rooms and gallery, in the exclusive suburb of Woollahra.
Mr Sumner said Mossgreen did not plan to close any outlets or lose staff, and creditors would be paid.
(All non contract staff it seems had been handed termination letters when you spoke to him, and the up market Queen Street Woollahra Sydney office was closed down it seems after a million or so had just been spent tarting it up.)
"Not one vendor, or one buyer will lose one dollar in this process," he said.
The first of Mossgreen's 2018 auctions would proceed on February 5. Items held under consignment to sell or buy wouldnot be lost to their owners.
Mr Sumner said all creditors had been informed of the administration. (Hmmmm .. what about upcoming VENDORS consigning many $ millions already?????)
"Mossgreen is a business that relies on trust, so when you do something like this, your reputation will be affected, by how you deal with your vendors and buyers."
Mossgreen is known for its sale of single-owner collections such as British collector Frank Cohen's 80 contemporary artworks valued at more than $5.8 million.
If total assets are stated to be about $3M (and if a chunk of that is office equipment, endless cartons of ancient sale catalogues, "goodwill", computers, phones, cars, and shelving and stationary etc you might get 500k-$1M for them in a fire sale) and DEBTS at about $12M and climbing very rapidly with wages, rent and Administrators fees, and one SECURED creditor is owed about $6m, no MBA needs to tell you what is likely going on here for unsecured creditors.
And it appears no-one yet has added one cent of loss from NZ subsidiary Webbs into these figures above, as it seems so far BDO have no real data. YET. Sumner also cheerfully advised the NZ media after his powers were removed -
"Sumner added that Mossgreen-Webb's in New Zealand is not affected by the Australian arm going into administration." Reports in the leading NZ newspaper today, appear to make that claim also very spurious.
Administrators have gobbled up $A200K already by their own figures, and that will multiply many fold, history shows us, chomping up most of the actual assets on hand. A familiar story.
Mr Sumner and his wife might have a lazy $10-15M lying about to drop kick into the kitty, and possibly never see again, to pay out all vendors and creditors, and all is then well. Or maybe a nice warm fuzzy bank will cheerfully take on this total train wreck, for fun? They are well known that that kind of benevolence.
Sumner needs to lodge a Deed Of Arrangement pretty soon to BDO it appears.
Too often these kind of folks have their real estate and cars and investments and Super etc all owned by blind trusts etc, that cannot be easily touched. I hope not.
We shall see.
It it was YOUR family selling ~$500,000 of Art in December at Mossgreen as one did, and possibly unlikely to see a cent of that, you may not be so happy to accept earnest promises of all payments being made.
This article was in today's "Sydney Morning Herald":
http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/celebrity/private-sydney/pri ... 102-h0cp8y
Following Professor Coppleson's death last year, 12 years after his wife died from cancer, much of their vast collection went under the hammer in early December through auction house Mossgreen, raising more than $500,000.
But on Christmas Eve the Coppleson's children, Mark, Victoria and Richard, received some troubling news: Mossgreen had been placed into voluntary administration after being advised that it risked becoming insolvent. The Copplesons are yet to see a cent of the proceeds from the sale.
"I couldn't sleep at all when I heard that," Mark Coppleson told PS.
Mossgreen co-owner and chief executive Paul Sumner was quick to assure the Copplesons, among other clients, their money was safe. He told PS this week: "I want to assure every vendor that they will get their money ... every cent of it."
Sumner had enjoyed a jetset lifestyle, mingling with Mick Fleetwood and even scoring his own "ambassadorship" with luxury carmaker Jaguar. Mossgreen's turnover grew to $39.6 million in 2015. Staff numbers jumped to 55.
However, at a creditors meeting in Melbourne on Thursday it was revealed Mossgreen had crippling debts of $12 million and when asked about the chances of creditors getting their money back, former director Jack Gringlas, owed $6 million, said "it doesn't look good".
Administrators BDO told 50 anxious people there were around 400 creditors and that Mosssgreen had assets of just $3 million.