Meredith Booth – From: The Advertiser , July 07, 2010 12:31 PM
ADMINISTRATORS have been called in to 10-year-old Adelaide carbon management company Carbon Planet, which has $5 million in debts and about 15 staff.
KordaMentha Adelaide partner Stephen Duncan said directors had called him in to help revive the business with talks “in train” with a potential investor to recapitalise the business as a going concern.
“We’re working through the options on the table to really put the plan in place. We need to make sure we maintain value,” Mr Duncan said.
Chief executive Dr Ross Williams and executive director Jim Johnson had contributed more than half of the $15 million invested in the company over recent years, he said.
They have blamed the Federal Government’s decision to abandon the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme until 2013 and the global financial crisis for its trading trouble.
“The carbon business was one of the industries worst hit by the Global Financial Crisis, making it very difficult to attract investment capital in the Australian climate change industry generally,” Mr Johnson said.
Mr Duncan said his priority was to investigate Carbon Planet’s position as an originator and trader of carbon credits and as an audit and advisory firm for companies looking to offset and reduce their carbon emissions.
The North Terrace-based business had ambitions to list on the Australian Securities Exchange in 2009 but merger talks with Melbourne-based investor m2m Corporation to create a $117 million public entity broke down late last year.
It also created controversy in September 2009, when it was reportedly swept up in a $100 million trading scandal in Papua New Guinea which led to the removal of the head of the country’s Office of Climate Change.