Creditors hear Penrice debt might be as high as $200 m

Adelaide soda and lime
company Penrice Soda might owe as much as $200 million, an initial creditors’
meeting heard yesterday.

McGrathNicol announced a
committee of creditors had been formed at the meeting. Over 100  were in
attendance yesterday, according to reports.

“We’re very pleased with the
interest shown so far,” Sam Davies from McGrathNicol told AAP.

Penrice was placed in
voluntary administration on April 11. It is considering a restructure, but
there has been no news since on job losses. A second creditors’ meeting will be
held on July 31.

Penrice went into
administration earlier this month, with reported debts of $117 million.
Yesterday it was heard that the situation could be worse.

“Probably in the vicinity of about $150 million, but if
some of the contingencies that some creditors have raised with us come to bear
then it could progress towards $200 million,” Davies told the ABC.

Penrice supplies soda ash,
bicarbonate soda, quicklime and limestone, and switched to importing soda ash last year. It dates back to 1935, according to its website, and listed on the
ASX in 2005.

It has suffered from the
historically high Australian dollar in recent years, as well as reduced demand
from glassmakers for its soda ash.

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