GrainPro in administration but continues to trade

GrainPro in administration but continues to trade


Grain
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The officials of beleagured grain and fodder business GrainPro say its business as usual while the company is in voluntary administration.

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AILING Wagga Wagga-based grain and hay business GrainPro, which was placed into voluntary administration late last month, is continuing to trade.

Adam Shepard of Setter Shepard was appointed as administrator last week and a creditors meeting is to be held today (Wednesday) in Wagga Wagga to discuss the procedure regarding the company.

However, company owner Mario Bonfante said in an email to customers that Grainpro is continuing to trade under instruction of the administrator.

He said legally this meant that any business conducted after 27 July 2019 is managed and is the responsibility of the administrator.

Former owner of the business Angela Hawke, formerly married to Dr Bonfante, has taken steps to distance herself from the business, saying she had been made a non-beneficiary shareholder in the company last year and that she had not been involved with GrainPro since December last year.

Meanwhile, the list of creditors continues to grow.

At present a creditor's list seen by Australian Community Media shows around 25 registered secured creditors and 229 unsecured creditors.

Dr Bonfante is registered as one of the creditors, which others owed money have said raises eerie parallels with the collapse of Lempriere Grain earlier this year where the owners of the business put in claims for over half the total debts owed.

It is not known what amount Dr Bonfante has registered.

The total creditor debt registered tallies around $6 million.

Most of the businesses impacted are across southern NSW, Victoria and eastern South Australia.

Numerous farm businesses have contacted ACM to say they are owed money, with many expressing concern that the administrators are not in charge of other companies registered in Mr Bonfante's name, such as Ag Biz, which has been marketed heavily in GrainPro promotional material, such as the daily email the company sent to customers.

There was also scepticism about the fact there were advertisements for staff to work with start-up companies registered to Dr Bonfante in spite of the issues with GrainPro.

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