Orbis VAs’ DoCa efforts in vain

Hall Chadwick partner Kathleen Vouris.
Hall Chadwick’s Richard Albarran.

Well you can’t say they didn’t try. Richard Albarran. Kathleen Vouris. Two of Hall Chadwick’s finest.

They gave the Government of the Solomon Islands every opportunity in their bid to save Orbis Commodities (Orbis). Perhaps that was their big mistake?

In case you haven’t heard the much touted Deed of Company Arrangement (DoCA) in respect of Orbis and Pacific Investment Holding Pty Limited (PIH), the DoCA that was going to deliver 100 cents in the dollar to secured and unsecured alike, as well as paying Albarran and Vouris’s ballooning remuneration, has failed to materialise.

On August 30, 2022 a special resolution was taken to have been passed by virtue of Orbis and PIH failing to execute a deed within the time required by s444B(2).

As the companies’ voluntary administrators (VAs) Albarran and Vouris were automatically appointed as liquidators, a role they might not have parachuted into if the secured creditor didn’t have to sacrifice his security as the price for replacing them.

The failure of the DoCA proposal comes down to the refusal of the Solomon Island Government to stump up the cash for the deed fund.

This is despite Albarran and Vouris telling various judges during applications for convening period extensions that the VAs were optimistic that the money would manifest.

Given the VAs’ fees and expenses were in excess of $4 million prior to their appointment as liquidators the reality that no SIG money is forthcoming presents Albarran and Vouris with a challenge that will require all their skill, experience and enterprise to surmount.

Fortunately for the secured creditor at least Chris Darin from Worrells is in there as receiver, though his marathon efforts to sell the relevant assets have yet to bear fruit.

Prepare to be engrossed.

Further reading:

Extend-A-Thon Continues As VAs Sweat On Solomons

VAs And Receiver Battle Over Battlefields

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