By Jonathan Underhill
Brookfield Multiplex, the Australian firm whose New Zealand developments included the Sylvia Park Shopping Centre and the Pegasus Town development, says a lack of new projects in a tough market drove the decision to liquidate its local unit.
Brookfield Multiplex Constructions (NZ) appointed liquidators on December 4 though it had largely ceased operating in 2011, when it made most of its workers redundant.
It has a shortfall to unsecured creditors estimated at $2.4 million, according to liquidators Anthony McCullagh and Stephen Lawrence of PKF Corporate Recovery & Insolvency (Auckland). Realisable assets were estimated at $44,279, though with some items including retentions listed as unknown.
"A continued lack of opportunities in the market prevents Brookfield Multiplex from maintaining a presence [in New Zealand] in its traditional form," the directors said, according to the liquidators' report of last month.
"This follows on from nearly two years operating without an active project in a highly competitive market, as well as receiving on-going financial support from its parent company."
The Sydney-based parent withdrew that financial support on December 3, forcing the local unit to cease trading.
Brookfield Multiplex Constructions (NZ) had a loss of $4.4 million in calendar 2010, the last year it provided results to the Companies Office. That's down from a loss of about $39 million in the previous year.
The liquidators' report says the company faces as-yet unquantified claims on construction contracts including Sylvia Park in Auckland.
Brookfield Multiplex was formed in 2007 when Canada's Brookfield Asset Management acquired Australian developer Multiplex, whose projects included the troubled Wembley Stadium development.
It still has nine companies registered in New Zealand that aren't in liquidation, including Brookfield Funds Management, part of a global asset management business overseeing some US$150 billion (NZ$179b) of assets.
Canterbury's Pegasus Town Ltd went into receivership last August, owing some $142.8m to a joint venture between Goldman Sachs and Brookfield Asset Management. Brookfield Multiplex Constructions (NZ) had sold its 50 percent stake in Pegasus Town in 2010 for $1m, having taken a $34m impairment the previous year.