Despair as yet another Ballarat company goes bankrupt

The bad run for Ballarat industry has continued this week with the demise of another group of companies connected with manufacturing and construction.

Documents presented to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission revealed Lontana Pty Ltd, which traded as Ballarat Windows, Altitude Architectural Windows and Ballarat Architectural Windows went into liquidation on Monday. 

This follows the liquidation of Ballarat Windows and Doors late last month with unsecured creditors of $1.5 million including $250,000 owed to small suppliers across the state.

It comes in the wake of the demise of debt riddled Ballarat builders Severino Homes last week along with CSM Homes and Watersun Homes earlier in the year.

Ballarat Windows and Doors' Ring Road address. Picture: Kate Healy

Ballarat Windows and Doors' Ring Road address. Picture: Kate Healy

Among those owed by Lontana is Jeremy White, who placed a window order for $8600 in May which were expected to take up to eight weeks to manufacture.  

Mr White was told the windows were ready on August 1 before making the full payment. 

Despite repeatedly attempting to contact the business, he received no response. 

“I begged them to just refund our money and we would have gone elsewhere, but we received no contact either way to say if they would supply the windows or our refund,” Mr White said. 

“(On Tuesday morning) I had a phone call from another person who ordered windows from there...who drove up there and found the gates were locked.” 

Lontana liquidators confirmed creditor details would be presented to ASIC on Wednesday.

While Deloitte Restructuring Services were appointed liquidators of Ballarat Windows and Doors on September 20, liquidators confirmed the company had already sold its business assets. 

No product: Jeremy White ordered $8600 in windows from Ballarat Windows and Doors in May but is yet to receive the product or a refund. Picture: Kate Healy

No product: Jeremy White ordered $8600 in windows from Ballarat Windows and Doors in May but is yet to receive the product or a refund. Picture: Kate Healy

Details provided to ASIC stated Ballarat Doors and Windows had no assets at the time of liquidation. 

Lontana Pty Ltd was listed on Ballarat Windows and Doors’ unsecured creditors list, as was Lontana’s sole director Gail Spark, who was registered at the same Ballarat Central address as Ballarat Windows and Doors director Timothy Spark. 

Documents provided to ASIC state Lontana and Gail Spark are non-related entities to Ballarat Windows and Doors. 

A notice pinned to the Ring Road address of Ballarat Windows and Doors detailed that Lontana Pty Ltd had gone into liquidation on Monday, despite Lontana’s principal place of business address being listed as the director’s Ballarat Central address.

A notice about Lotana Pty Ltd's liquidation attatched to the gate of Ballarat Windows and Doors' Ring Road address. Note: An obscenity handwritten on the page has been blurred out. Picture: Kate Healy

A notice about Lotana Pty Ltd's liquidation attatched to the gate of Ballarat Windows and Doors' Ring Road address. Note: An obscenity handwritten on the page has been blurred out. Picture: Kate Healy

The premises was padlocked.  It is believed the business still had more than 10 employees when it went into liquidation. 

Also on the list of Ballarat Doors and Windows creditors was G Gay and Co Mitre 10, who are owed an estimated $10,200.

G Gay and Co co-owner David Gay said the company had ceased doing business with Ballarat Doors and Windows after it failed to pay an outstanding account. 

He said his company had not had any contact with Ballarat Windows, Altitude Architectural Windows and Ballarat Architectural Windows. 

“Since Ballarat Windows and Doors stopped paying their old account we weren't interested in trading with them at all,” Mr Gay said.  

“It’s all too easy for them to walk away from their debts unfortunately.

“People have paid deposits on jobs and they might not get anything, so unless the job’s completed and installed there are going to be a lot of customers in trouble.”

Ballarat Doors and Windows liquidator Robert Woods said in a statement “we have commenced our investigations into the financial affairs of the company and will be communicating initial findings to creditors by 19 December”. 

“These investigations will include the circumstances around the sale of the business prior to our appointment and will comment on the likelihood of a dividend to creditors,” the statement read. 

The Courier attempted to contact Ballarat Windows and Doors and Lontana for comment.