James Thackray and Shaun Fraser of McGrathNichol have been appointed administrators of organic olive oil producer Kailis Organic. The company, led by Mark Kailis of Western Australia’s dynastic Kailis family, failed to raise enough working capital to maintain operations after suffering major losses this year.
In a bid to become an organic olive oil producer on a global scale, Kailis Organic sought an initial public offering of AUD30 million ($30.2 million) last year to acquire failed Australian agribusiness Great Southern and add 4,500 acres to their existing holdings.
The offering did not proceed but the company did raise AUD25.5 million through private and family investors, enough to solidify the acquisition.
In October of 2010, Mark Kailis stated confidently that Kailis Organic was “positioned to be a major organic trader on the world market.” At the time, the company was selling to more than 250 retail outlets in Australia, with exports in seven countries including Germany.
In June, 2010 Kailis told Olive Oil Times, “With increased production comes increased economies of scale. The Premium Range will undergo product extension and re-launch, competitively positioned and attractive to more markets both domestic and international.”
Despite these promising signs, Kailis Organic posted a $3.4 million loss for the 2009-10 year and has since failed to raise the money needed to sustain the business. The company currently owes about $2 million to unsecured creditors, including employees, supplies and shareholders. Newly appointed administrators Thackray and Fraser expect to find a buyer.
A meeting will be held on November 28 to determine the future of Kailis Organic and decide whether or not to retain McGrathNichol as administrators.
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