Dunedin-founded online retail discount company VoucherMate
has been placed in voluntary liquidation by its shareholders,
owing potentially $160,000 to preferential and unsecured
Despite several unspecified injections of cash by
shareholders - including from some prominent Otago business
people - the recession, "substantial fixed overheads" and
staff costs combined to prevent Vouchermate from continuing
as a viable operation, the liquidators Insolvency
Management's first report said.
Insolvency Management, of Dunedin, was appointed by
shareholders on December 24 and despite the application to
liquidate VoucherMate, liquidator Ian Nellies said he hoped
the business could be sold, following "several expressions of
interest from local people".
Mr Nellies understood retailers paid VoucherMate to advertise
on the website and discount vouchers were downloaded for free
by customers, leaving it up to those retailers to decide
whether to redeem the vouchers.
The website was being "kept alive", and still offered
discounts to the public, so the business could be sold as a
However, no new advertisers were being sought, Mr Nellies
Before the liquidation there were about 20 staff, which was
trimmed back to four at the time of liquidation, plus there
were earlier a number of commission-based agents across the
country, he said.
The liquidators' first report, which highlighted VoucherMate
operations had not been fully assessed yet, said there was
one secured creditor, six known preferential creditors and 26
unsecured creditors estimated to be owed $159,271.
There was no estimate yet of a deficit.
"There is a strong possibility that there will be a dividend
for the unsecured creditors in this liquidation, but that is
ultimately dependent upon a successful sale," Mr Nellies
"The liquidators have already received several proposals for
the purchase of the business, which are subject to further
review," he said.
The company was incorporated in January 2006 and the
Companies Office list of shareholders reads like a "who's
who" of Dunedin business people.
VoucherMate's directors are Christopher Barnes and John
Gallaher of Dunedin, while its shareholders include Sir Eion
Edgar, John Gilks, Peter Hau, Robert Guthrie, Peter and Mary
Fennessy, Mike and Katrina Horne, Murray Tennant, Izaak
Auperle, Paul Moodie and Lyn Adamson, Pieter and Lisa Brits,
Lindsay Campbell, Ross and Carol Liddell, Graeme and Sarah
McLauchlan, Tony Sycamore, Margaret Guthrie, Ryan Campbell,
Chin Loh, Kam Liew, Dennis Lumb and Bryan and Jennifer Munro.
Among the seven companies listed as shareholders is Webb
Farry Trustee Services Ltd and GSM Trustees Ltd, the latter
of which Stuart and Graeme McLauchlan are directors.
Over the years, VoucherMate, which was an inaugural graduate
of Dunedin's Upstart Business Incubator, was later a finalist
in the Westpac Otago Chamber of Commerce awards in 2008.