A solar energy company has laid off all of its employees and owes millions of dollars after the CEO was diagnosed with cancer.
Victorian electricity and energy company G-Store Pty Ltd, based in Malvern, Melbourne, went into receivership on 13 February.
Most staff immediately lost their jobs and suppliers are still owed $3.8 million in debt after the solar-powered home improvement company closed its doors.
Sole director Dion Epstein made the decision to close the business he started in 2007 on February 7 after being diagnosed with cancer.
The company is now in the hands of administrator Philip Newman of PCI Partners.
The company, which also had an office in Warragul, about 100 kilometers east of Melbourne, owes a total of 139 unsecured creditors $2.2 million. reported the Herald Sun.
Melbourne-based solar installer G-Store has entered administration due to $3.8 million in debt
Founder Dion Epstein personally guaranteed several loans before his cancer diagnosis.
Newman wrote that a ‘A small number of staff were hired to assist with ongoing investigations until February 13 before they were also fired.
Newman is now working to determine how much each of the secured lenders is owed of the remaining $1.6 million in debts.
Some of the debts are also owed to customers who paid to install solar energy systems in their homes but are still waiting for installations.
Mr. Newman’s administrative report noted “in several factories where G-Store had received customer deposits.
“Unfortunately, these customers will now be considered unsecured creditors of deposits paid to the company,” the report continues.
The staff is also owed $437,000 in unpaid annual leave, long service leave, retirement and severance payments.
Another $24,000 is owed because the company had not paid retirement from January 1.
G Store began reporting annual losses in 2021 and, in its most recent financial year, reported a loss of $503,000.
“The above indicates that the company may have been technically insolvent since at least June 30, 2021,” Newman wrote.
However, it was noted that thanks to Epstein’s personal wealth, G-Store was able to avoid proper insolvency until January 2024.
Epstein’s father has offered all creditors 2.2 cents for every dollar they are owed
Epstein owes his wife $85,000 and the Epstein Family Trust $247,012.75 for their help keeping the company alive.
Robert Epstein, Dion’s father, is the director of one of the company’s companies. secured creditors, Coltvale Pty Ltd.
Coltvale Pty Ltd has filed an application for a deed of incorporation (DOCA) in the hope of buying back G-Store after its debts are cleared.
The application offers to provide creditors. They are returned 2.2 cents for every dollar they are owed and are now awaiting approval.
The next meeting of creditors will be celebrated on March 8 and it is planned to address whether the DOCA will be accepted or if the company will go into liquidation.
Epstein faces bankruptcy if creditors do not accept the offer, as he personally guaranteed a number of debts.
G-Store only had $142,000 was left in the bank when it went into administration.
The company’s shares have been valued at $145,000 and the company’s assets have an estimated value of between $122,000 and $171,000.