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Clear Skies/Skope Manufacturing DOCA gets go-ahead

At the second meeting of creditors on Tuesday 27th August, the Deed of Company Arrangement put forward by administrator Simon Thorn of PKF was passed and will come into force. The deciding factor was when the ATO said they would support it in light of the 30 cents in the dollar eventual return, whereas a liquidation scenario would likely return zero.

Concern and confusion still surrounds the true connection between Skope Group Pty Ltd of Castle Hill and Clear Skies Pty Ltd of Campbelltown, trading as Skope Services Manufacturing and Scream Visual Wholesale Manufacturing, with PKF having noted in Mr Thorn’s report to creditors that Skope Group director Ann Orren:

“May be a shadow and/or de facto director of the Company” (Clear Skies), including that she signed off on the Clear Skies leases, she liaised with the Clear Skies accountants, she installed the current Clear Skies sole director and shareholder Robert Price in his position, and she is a signatory to the Clear Skies bank account.”

In other words, a ‘related entity,’ despite protestations from Ann and Charles Orren that they were not. There is also a contract, sighted and confirmed by this publication, that has as its signatories both Charles and Ann Orren as ‘Directors’ of company ABN: 52 153 519 736. That ABN, according to ASIC, belongs to Clear Skies Pty Ltd, but ASIC lists only one director, Robert Dean Price.

Nevertheless, the acceptance of the DOCA whereby Skope Group buys Clear Skies for $100,000, pays for the DOCA and the on-going running of the Clear Skies trading name businesses and deposits $500,000 into a fund to provide a 30 cents-in-the-dollar return over three years, to unsecured ordinary creditors; will obviate any investigation into the related party transactions, described by PKF as ‘unusual.’

The good news for employees is that they will be offered on-going employment. Indeed, since last week, Skope Group Services is advertising for no less than 7 positions at its Campbelltown factory: https://au.indeed.com/jobs?q=Skope%20Group%20&l=Campbelltown%20NSW&vjk=9ae6dcfce99464d5

Whatever has gone on at Skope/Clear Skies, there can be no doubting the high quality of its sign work for major Australian retail brands and the continuance of the businesses, despite a loss to the industry and ATO of something like $1.54 million, will be welcomed by many customers and, of course, employees who retain their jobs and get some of their unremitted SCG entitlements paid.

Skope Group Services Australia Head Office copy
Skope HO on its website - photoshop?

Skope new building pic
Skope HO Building Castle Hill this week - no sign