Buildplan collapse sparks allegations of assault, threats

The financial fallout from the collapse of National Buildplan Group has allegedly sparked an act of intimidation and assault by a disgruntled creditor at the headquarters of administrators BRI Ferrier.

The financial fallout from the collapse of National Buildplan Group has allegedly sparked an act of intimidation and assault by a disgruntled creditor at the headquarters of administrators BRI Ferrier.

Fairfax Media understands a tradesman owed about $600,000 by the failed construction group attempted to force BRI director Costa Nicodemou to sign a document, pushing him in the chest and making threats when he refused to co-operate.

The alleged perpetrator visited BRI's offices in George Street, Sydney, on July 4 accompanied by another man. NSW police were called but Mr Nicodemou chose not to take criminal action.

"There's a lot of emotions that run in situations like this. In the circumstances, I thought a warning from the police would be sufficient," he said.

"But if there was a repeat against me or any other staff we would seek to press charges."

Creditors were notified of the alleged incident. "We all know how hard it is & the pressure of financial strain, but seriously, this is extreme and ... solves nothing," one creditor cautioned in a group email.

The latest accounts filed with ASIC show National Buildplan owes an estimated $2.9 million in employee entitlements and $65.2million to unsecured creditors. A deed of company arrangement was recently executed and founder and director Bill Wheeler has regained control.

Some creditors were opposed to the deed of arrangement, in which Mr Wheeler was paid compensation of $6000 a week by administrators and the low return expected to be recovered on the company's debts. BRI Ferrier estimates unsecured creditors will likely receive only 0.08¢ to 5.62¢ in the dollar. Employees are expected to be paid out by the end of this year.

The family-owned company, which had seven offices and 180 staff, was placed into administration in early April, leaving more than 1200 creditors - mainly tradespeople, subcontractors, suppliers and employees - out of pocket.

cvedelago@theage.com.au

Twitter: @chrisvedelago

Related Articles