A few anxious customers were outside the closed gates of the failed Bee-Jay Machinery business on Goulburn Valley Hwy in Shepparton on Tuesday morning, wondering what would become of deposits they had paid for tractors and other machinery.September 2, 2014 3:10am
A printed sign on the fence read ‘‘business closed’’ and a guy who wasn’t answering questions made sure the gate remained shut as he supervised and photographed the removal of a tractor and hay-making machinery onto a low loader and a truck.
Hamish MacKinnon of insolvency firm Bent and Cougle was appointed liquidator of Bee-Jay Machinery and Tractors R Us on Monday by the directors of those companies.
Mr MacKinnon said seven staff had lost their jobs and as liquidator he had started the process of recovering funds on behalf of creditors.
News of the closure spread quickly, with shocked staff taking to Facebook to voice their dismay.
‘‘The Gorman family are completely devastated,’’ Mr MacKinnon said.
‘‘It wasn’t until late on Friday and over the weekend that they decided they couldn’t continue to operate and decided to appoint a liquidator voluntarily.’’
He said the number of creditors was small, with banks and finance companies sharing the major exposure.
Bee-Jay machinery was started by Daryl Gorman, who turned his hand to selling tractors 40 years ago because it was more attractive than farming.
In 2012, Mr Gorman told Country News he had survived fluctuating commodity prices, energy crises, credit squeezes, floods, droughts, changing international markets and high interest rates during his four decades in the business.
Mr MacKinnon said the prospect of a dry summer and an extended period of poor trading conditions had influenced the directors’ decision to act and appoint a liquidator.
A meeting of creditors is expected to be called within a fortnight.
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