Councillor Dave Macpherson said the council had had a lucky escape despite not being aware of the financial situation when it voted 9-1 last week against hosting the Erotica Lifestyle Expo.
Eden Digital Ltd, which held the licence for Erotica Lifestyles Expo, was put into liquidation on November 22 and, according to the liquidator’s report, struggled to attract large numbers to the event and had suffered cashflow problems.
Auckland-based liquidator Grant Reynolds said sole shareholder CVC Group director John Carr appointed him to liquidate the company after realising it had no way to repay its debts.
CVC Group removed the licence for Erotica from Eden Digital “some months back” and as a result the company had lost its revenue-earning ability.
This month CVC set up Esprit Events, which is the new licence-holder for Erotica.
Eden Digital went into liquidation owing $434,000 [most of it to IRD] and Mr Reynolds said it was unlikely any of the unsecured creditors would be repaid in full.
ASB Showgrounds in Auckland is among the unsecured creditors. [It had served as a venue for Erotica Lifestyles Expo for some years, but recently its management ended its contract with the Expo organisers, no doubt due to unpaid bills].
Story by Nikki Preston. Published Wednesday, 30 November 2011
David Crow, a spokesman for the sex expo, said all they had done was “restructured the company” and separate the business into three parts.
He said Esprit Events, which now held the licence for Erotica, was the company that would have signed the agreement to hire Claudelands.
Mr Crow said three Erotica events were planned in the next 12 months and one was already confirmed for February in Palmerston North. Early discussions were taking place with Mystery Creek Events Centre about having the event on the outskirts of Hamilton.
“The show had and continues to make money … business is business. We wouldn’t be continuing to do shows if we thought we were going to lose money on them.”
But Mr Macpherson, who has been involved in an email debate with both David Crow and his brother, porn king Steve Crow, and has openly opposed Claudelands hosting the event, said the council had had a narrow miss.
He said it could have lost between $50,000 and $60,00 had it agreed to hold the event and the company collapsed. He was now questioning staff about why Eden Digital’s financial woes had not been detected earlier.
“I sure as hell wouldn’t want to risk any money.”
CVC Group has a history of liquidating firms and also owned failed companies Z4K74D Ltd, Eden Media, Vixen Publications Ltd and SidefxLtd, which were all at times directed by Steve Crow.