1 September 2023

Creditors set to decide future of PBS Building

| Ian Bushnell
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Melrose building site

The Melrose site in Woden in March when PBS Building collapsed. A new builder was found and the project is well under way. Photo: Ian Bushnell.

PBS Building creditors will meet next week in Canberra to decide the future of the fallen company.

RSM Australia was appointed voluntary administrator of five PBS companies operating in the ACT, NSW and Queensland on 7 March 2023 when 24 PBS Building projects worth $439 million were under construction.

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Affected ACT projects included the new Belconnen markets, Doma’s Melrose apartment tower in Woden, Stocklands’ townhouses in The Parks development in Red Hill and the Flexi-living homes in Strathnairn, all of which have found new builders and resumed construction.

The last creditors report in June identified more than 500 creditors claiming a total of $169 million.

In March, 177 Canberra businesses and individuals had made claims.

A notice on the ASIC website stated the meeting on 6 September at RSM’s offices at the Equinox Building in Deakin would ask creditors whether PBS executes a Deed of Company Arrangement, the administration should end or the company be wound up.

A deed of company arrangement is a binding arrangement between a company and its creditors governing how the company’s affairs will be dealt with and aims to provide a better return for creditors than an immediate winding up of the company.

The meeting will also receive and consider a report from the administrators, fix or determine the remuneration of the administrator, consider appointing a committee of inspection and, if so, decide on the members and consider removing the administrators and appointing someone else.

A face-to-face creditors’ meeting to answer questions was slated for 5 July but postponed until 6 September to give administrators more time to pursue the outstanding contract payments owed to PBS companies.

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The administrators found PBS Building became insolvent on or before 10 February 2023 due to a number of factors, including being unable to secure the necessary level of additional working capital and additional support.

The company began its life in Canberra, but expanded operations to NSW and Queensland.

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