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Dick Smith Directors Summonsed To Appear In NSW Court Over Collapse

Several former Dick Smith executives, including executives from Anchorage Capital, have been summoned to appear in the NSW Supreme Court to answer questions about the collapse of Dick Smith.

Among those facing a grilling as to what went wrong in the $400M collapse of the mass retailer are former CEO Nick Aboud, Chairman Rob Murray, Lorna Raine, Michael Potts, Robert Ishak, Jamie Tomlinson, company secretary David Cooke and John Skellern, director of commercial property, procurement and supply chain.

The Court is also tipped to question Deloitte the auditors for Dick Smith who six months out from the collapse of the mass retailer approved the accounts.

Also set to be questioned are executives from Anchorage Capital including Phil Cave and Bill Wavish who were on the board when things started to go pear shaped at the mass retailer.

Several of these executives have already approach their insurance Company to fund the legal costs associated with the probe.

Ferrier Hodgson partner James Stewart, who was appointed receiver of Dick Smith in January this year is set to get legal Counsel to question executives about the management of the Company and in particular what controls were put into place to manage former CEO Nick Aboud.

Questions are also set to be asked about offshore bank accounts in Hong Kong and who authorised the purchase of millions of dollars’ worth of house brand fr4om Chinese Companies via a Hong Kong operation that was run by a relative of Nick Aboud.

Also set to be examined is how Anchorage made an estimated $500 million profit from the sale of Dick Smith only to see the business collapse 18 months after several executives pocketed millions from the sale of the business.

Mr Cave told The Australian Financial Review that he would cooperate fully with the receivers. He said he was looking forward to the release of the administrators’ report from McGrathNicol, due next week.

4000 creditors are believed to have lost over $300M with insurance Companies forking out millions to several distributors and manufacturers who were suppliers to Dick Smith.

The AFR said that the inclusion of Mr Cave and Mr Wavish in the court examinations is significant because Anchorage has consistently denied it carried any blame for the collapse of the company.

Mr Stewart will be trying to understand what the board did and did not know about the affairs of the company. Also, he will seek to find out what management told the board in the lead up to the collapse.
The examinations are set to begin on September 5.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission is also investigating why Dick Smith collapsed.

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