Sandalwood jobs ‘secured’

By Chris Thomson | posted on June 14, 2018

CREDITORS have accepted a plan receivers say will save all 221 jobs at floundering company Quintis that owns Albany’s Mt Romance sandalwood factory, and provide a better return for unsecured creditors than available under a liquidation scenario.

McGrathNicol partners Jason Preston, Shaun Fraser and Robert Brauer – who in January were appointed receivers of Quintis – say that on Monday the company’s creditors voted for an arrangement that “represents another important step in seeing the business emerge as a private company”.

The three receivers said Quintis would emerge in “a very strong financial position and well placed to continue its strategy as the world’s leading marketer, producer and seller of sandalwood timber, oil and products”.

Last week, the men said the arrangement would mean Quintis’ 221 workers – which includes staff at Mt Romance – would retain their jobs (‘Creditors to vote on Sandalwood jobs plan’, 7 June).

The men now say the vote is an endorsement of their strategy to recapitalise Quintis and its subsidiary companies with between $125 million and $175 million new cash.

They say the cash will be injected into the business to fund long-term operations, and the arrangement is the “best path forward for all creditors, including employees and growers”.

The men aim to complete the recapitalisation by late August.

Last week, they said the arrangement would see workers who were made redundant in the early stages of the receivership have their entitlements paid in full.

In March, a McGrathNicol spokeswoman told The Weekender none of the redundancies would be from the Albany factory (‘Sandalwood jobs axe misses Mt Romance’, March 1).

An additional $20 million had been made available for ongoing operations while the receivership concludes.

The 60,000sqm Mt Romance plant on Albany’s northern outskirts is the world’s largest distiller of sandalwood oil.