Kordas clinching $1 mill a week on Arrium

Korda Mentha earning $1 million per weekThe work to knock Arrium into something that can be taken to market is costing creditors more than $1 million a week.
Mark Mentha fattening on Arrium

Arrium surgeon Mark Mentha and his team have racked up more than $1 million a week in fees for a one month period over October and November.

Billing $1 million a week in remuneration suggests a truly frenetic degree of activity has attended KordaMentha’s attempts to rescue stricken steel maker Arrium.

Either that, or salaries offered to lure sufficient quantities of number crunchers to handle this complex and politically fraught appointment are at the top of the range or, given the fact the initial team has since contracted substantially, the appointees themselves are putting in more high-priced hours.

Last month Arrium transitioned from voluntary administration to deed of company arrangement (DoCA) after creditors endorsed a plan designed to reconfigure the group’s asset holding structure so as to facilitate a share sale of its viable assets.

Consequently, the four Kordas partners appointed as Arrium’s voluntary administrators on April 12, 2016 – Mark Mentha, Bryan Webster, Cassandra Matthews and Martin Madden – on November 4 became deed administrators.

Minutes of a meeting held in Sydney on December 1 show that Arrium’s committee of creditors signed off on a resolution to pay KordaMentha $4.122 million for four week’s work over a period commencing on October 24 and concluding on November 20. Each week during the period KordaMentha’s remuneration eclipsed $1 million.

Eight of the committee representatives voted in favour of the pay resolution, which was the only resolution put to the meeting. Three abstained and none opposed.

A form 524 statement of accounts for the Kordas’ partners’ final month as VAs dated December 2 suggests the bulk of the monthly million plus dollars has gone to minions and it was a sizeable team to begin with.

From October 12 to November 4 the four Kordas partners pocketed $45,931.07 in pay. For their entire period as VAs the Kordas’ foursome earned $807,312.57. Most instructive is that the quadrella of corporate resurrectionists racked up a relatively modest $13.105.24 in expenses for the term of the VA. Pretty restrained really.

The real eyebrow raisers will likely be the sums Arrium’s administrators have paid to lawyers. Perhaps the next form 524 will tell us.

About the Author

Peter Gosnell
Insolvency News Online illuminates the practice of insolvency Australia-wide, highlighting the triumphs and travails of the nation’s registered practitioners and the accounting and legal professionals who work with them. INO is produced by Peter Gosnell, former business editor and senior business reporter at The Daily Telegraph newspaper. During a decade-long career, your correspondent reported on such notable corporate collapses as HIH, One.Tel, Westpoint and Fincorp as well as some of the nation's highest profile bankruptcies and the investigations and prosecutions arising from Australia's most notorious instances of white-collar crime.

8 Comments on "Kordas clinching $1 mill a week on Arrium"

  1. KordaMentha have a license to print their own money thanks to the creditors not asking questions such as “Why is this now very profitable company still in administration?”.
    Why are we only getting 60-70 cents in the dollar when the iron ore and steel prices are on fire?
    Arrium have 1.7 million tons of stockpiled iron ore which will start being processed in April. Steel divisions working overtime and employing people to keep up with demand. How long are KordaMentha going to milk this cow?

    • We didnt get 60 – 70 cents but a mere 10 + 2.5, + 2.5 in the future. why is there several different rates for creditors ?
      Is this even legal ?
      Are they going to charge these rates untill 2019 when we see the last of our money ?

  2. who is going to ask KordaMentha the tough questions, they’re at the wheel and can sail this treasure ship off into the sunset.

  3. Some members of the Arrium Shareholders United Facebook group have estimated forward EBITDA in the vicinity of $500 million p.a. You would think Arrium Australia to be worth around the $3 billion mark. Plus Molycop sold for AUD $1.6 billion. The financial debt was only $2.8 billion. So where is the rest KordaMentha?

  4. Frank Rizza | 13 June 2017 at 9:24 am | Reply

    previously posted on the 29th of Dec 2016
    “There will come a time when most people will realise that the connection between endemic corruption and institutions like the super funds , banks , the political elites and some branches of government are all inter-connected , take ARIUM for example ( the former BHP onesteel )and is at the moment in liquidation ) , people not knowing what the super funds and the banks get up to when they play monopoly on the stock market with people retirement funds , the global financial meltdown of 2008 has not changed a thing ,the banks the super funds and others , they’re still playing the same games with peoples money , governments and the financial guard dogs are asleep at the wheel , and why is that … it’s not that they don’t care , they know exactly what goes on and that is why they don’t want or at best slow any possible reforms to the financial sector, they deny the obvious until the cows come home ,and in the meantime ,administrators create paper trails to protect the perpetrators and instigators ,including company director, banks , gov dept heads , politicians and many other in the shadows ,this is not just about some shareholders losing money on the stock market , it’s about ordinary people losing money from their superannuation retirement funds or paying higher bank fees because the banks are up to their old tricks ( when the banks loses , everyone pays ) , where’s the union in Whyalla .S.A , why are they keeping quiet about the goings on with the administrators of ARIUM , where’s the S.A government that is also keeping a tight lip , where is… or is A.S.I.C and the federal government making sure that no monkey business or sweeping under the carpet goes on , is everything hunky-dory..is it.. , or do they just hopes that nobody notices the blatant corruption that’s going on , where’s nick , the one that just won a few more seats in the senate on the back of the misery of that town , where are the ex-directors of the company , the creators of this mess ( enjoying the festive seasons ..are they..?? ) where are the super funds that have invested peoples retirement funds in that company ..?? are they protecting people’s retirement funds …?? ..or are they all saying ,,, forck you ,(by the time it’s all cleaned up i’ll be long gone with my cash) … Jack …
    end … of gripe .”

  5. Frank Rizza | 13 June 2017 at 9:28 am | Reply

    Frank Rizza shared a link.

    Stop Selling Arrium Australia | Arrium Shareholders United

    Stop Selling Arrium Australia – 5 May 2017

    There has been further positive news regarding Arrium’s profitability and viability, which makes continued administration a complete farce.

    KordaMentha are continuing to influence the media, promoting outdated debt figures (pre sale of Molycop for $1.6 billion, and pre 11 months of continuous growth).

    Every media article uses the adjective “struggling” or “embattled”, they should be replaced with “booming”.

    Many workers and shareholders are joining us in increasing numbers seeking political leadership to stop this unjust sale.

    Our members represent a cross section of Arrium, with the daily feedback we receive indicating most business units are at maximum capacity and the business is substantially outperforming targets.

    Why is Arrium (with its roots in BHP) still being sold to Liberty House with a dubious track record of corporate governance and its disregard of employee entitlements (google Tata Steel UK)?

    Why is Arrium being sold when it has EBITDA of $500 million pa? (Morgan Stanley pocketing $100 million of that in selling fees)

    Why is Arrium still in administration when there are thousands of highly competent Arrium employees and management running the business now? (KordaMentha billing $1 million per week, with dubious value adding). All that is now needed is a new board of directors that you have input into its composition.

    If Arrium is allowed to be sold to an overseas buyer Liberty House it will go down in Australian corporate history as the most disgraceful administration ever (even worse than KordaMentha’s handling of Ansett for 10 years of fees with still no published financial returns.) Arrium also is potentially the largest legal class action in Australian corporate history.

    If sold it is also potentially the largest capital loss by taxpayers ever claimed against the ATO. With 80,000 shareholders, and say 80% of them Australian residents for tax purposes, Government payouts will be several hundred million dollars. Many thousands of those are ex-BHP and ex-OneSteel employees (and your members) in retirement with company share plans, that will be worthless, with tax losses fully deductible.

    As Arrium’s largest known shareholder we have copied Government Investment Corporation of Singapore (GIC) for information purposes only. GIC is one of the world’s largest fund managers representing the pension funds of Singapore Government employees.

    Please take action to protect our steel industry and jobs and stop this appalling ongoing administration and sale of Arrium Australia.

    kind regards
    ASU Member

    p.s. a copy of this week’s positive media articles:

    1. Treasurer scuttles plans to move BHP offshore (why is Arrium any different?, if sold to Liberty House, profits, tax payments and jobs will be moved offshore)

    2. Proposed $73 million contract to provide railway steel for Adani Coal (link: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-…contract-to-bolster-arrium-steelmaker/8495522)

    3. 44 jobs and a new shift for Whyalla as they are at full capacity (hardly the decision of a business needed to be sold) http://www.whyallanewsonline.com.au/story/4634987/good-news-rolls-for-arrium

  6. Heres a news flash for you at all corporate locations . We got shafted the most in this deal , as transport suppliers. we have the biggest input costs the biggest outlay per turnover and profit margins, without road transport you have no steel industry or any other industry for that matter. hiding the details from us until the 30.10.2017 is a discrace. why do unsecured banks get more than 70 cents and we get 10 maybe 15 cents. it never should have been sold . Thanks for stealing 40k from my family Korda Mentha. So why did the banks replace Grant Tornton as administrators at the start?

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