Monday 25 May 2015

EXCLUSIVE: ATO wind-up notice extracts payment from Imperial Peking owners

THE ATO's current wind-up blitz isn't restricted to the anonymous rump of small to medium enterprises identified as either late or non-payers of tax - millionaire Sydney restaurateurs Adelina and Alfred Lai have also received the dreaded notice of intent to liquidate.

A day after it was reported that Alfred Lai was helping bankroll a $30 million upgrade of the historic Campbell Stores building which houses his Imperial Peking restaurant, the taxman applied to have the restaurant's holding company, Memule Pty Ltd, wound-up over $100,000 in unpaid debts.

The notice, obtained by Sydney Insolvency News (SiN), shows that the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) made application to wind-up Memule on April 30. 

Memule is the holding company for the businesses trading as Imperial Peking Harbourside and Imperial Peking Harbourside Restaurant

On April 29 the Australian Financial Review reported that "Sydney restaurateurs and events identities including the Dockside Group's Drivas Brothers and Imperial Peking Harbourside owner Alfred Lai are funding a $30 million upgrade of the waterfront precinct next to Sydney's Park Hyatt known as Campbell Stores into a premium dining location intended to be one of the best in the country."

Alfred Lai told SiN today that the wind-up notice was the result of a misunderstanding that began earlier this year.

"We got a letter sometime in January and we asked for some time to make the payment and we weren't successful," Lai said.

"So what we did was, I've organised finance and we've paid them already. It was a misunderstanding, that's all," he said.

Lai insisted he was still committed to the Campbell Stores project.

"Of course yes, it's a separate thing altogether, so it's no problem. There was a misunderstanding, we were arguing but it's been paid today," he said. 

Calls to the Drivas Brothers were not returned by time of publication. The Campbell Stores upgrade is reportedly being undertaken through the Tallawoladah Consortium, with the Drivas Brothers' Dockside Group, which operates the Waterfront and Wolfies restaurants, also set to benefit.

For more on the ATO's debt recovery crusade see:

Exclusive: ATO in debt assault on SMEs

Email SiN

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