Curacao-style winding up at an end after 27 years

Insolvency marked another milestone last week when former Ferrier Hodgson partner Gary Trevor completed the torturous winding up of Bell Group NV (BGNV) almost three decades after being appointed liquidator by Australian courts of an administration ancillary to its parent insolvency in the Caribbean jurisdiction of what was then the Netherlands Antilles.

In the Supreme Court of West Australia the Perth insolvency veteran obtained orders terminating the winding up of BGNV, releasing him from his role as liquidator and requiring ASIC to remove BGNV from the register of foreign companies.

“On this basis, I accept that Mr Trevor’s functions as liquidator of BGNV have come to an end.” Justice Jenni Hill.

Since being appointed in 1996 Trevor has collected some $650 million in assets within the company’s jurisdiction and remitted the net proceeds to BGNV’s principal administration in Curaçao.

In RE Bell Group NV (In Liq); Ex Parte Trevor [No 4] [2023] WASC 151 Justice Jenni Hill recounted how BGNV was incorporated in the Netherlands Antilles (now Curaçao) on 27 November 1985, as a wholly owned subsidiary of Bell Group Finance Pty Ltd (BGF).

On 19 July 1996, Trevor was appointed the Australian liquidator of BGNV, its winding up in Australia being ancillary to the principal insolvency administration of BGNV in Curaçao.

“I am satisfied that, on the evidence before the court, Mr Trevor has realised all the property of BGNV in Australia, has distributed the net recoveries to the principal liquidators (the Curacao Bankruptcy Curatoren) in accordance with s 601CL(15)(c) of the Act, and has not been required to adjust the rights of its contributory nor to pay any return to BGF,” the judge said.

“On this basis, I accept that Mr Trevor’s functions as liquidator of BGNV have come to an end.”

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