Five-year ban from running company recommended

The sign above the now closed Metro bar in Dunedin. Photo by ODT.
The sign above the now closed Metro bar in Dunedin. Photo by ODT.
A former Dunedin bar owner who left a string of failed hospitality companies behind him may be banned from running a company for five years.

Earlier this year, three hospitality companies, Metro Bar (Dunedin) Ltd, 2 Mooses Tavern Ltd and The Church Nightclub Ltd, were placed in liquidation, owing Inland Revenue almost $230,000.

Bar co-owner Ben Hanssen, along with his business partner, had interests in Dunedin bars Metro, Monkey Bar, Diamond Lounge-Rumours and the Clarendon Hotel.

A final report on Metro Bar (Dunedin) Ltd by liquidators Insolvency Management includes a recommendation Hanssen ''should be prohibited from being a director of a company for a period of five years''.

The liquidators noted the company, which was incorporated in March 2011 and ceased trading late last year, had no assets available for the liquidation.

Liquidators were provided with minimal information about the company and its affairs, as no company financial accounts could be obtained.

Don Millis, of Insolvency Management, confirmed a recommendation had been made to the Registrar of Companies to ban Mr Hanssen as a director.

That recommendation was still being investigated.

Mr Millis said Insolvency Management was appointed to deal with the liquidations of insolvent companies associated with Mr Hanssen.

''We are also aware of other insolvent companies he is associated with.''

Mr Hanssen could not be reached for comment this week.

Last year he denied allegations put by the Otago Daily Times that he left staff out of pocket or used gang members to intimidate rivals.