Tuesday 2 February 2016

ASIC eyeing VA over 3D Printing Group

MACKAY Goodwin's Domenic Calabretta has told SiN he had no idea ASIC was investigating the administration of 3D Group Pty Ltd, a Victorian-based 3D printing technology outfit.

Currently overseas, Calabretta expressed surprise when told that 3D Group - which he controlled first as voluntary administrator and then as administrator of a Deed of Company Arrangement (DoCA) - was being investigated by an ASIC specialist stakeholder team.

"In regards to the alleged ASIC investigation ... I have not been made aware of such investigation," Calabretta said.

"The creditors in 3D have been paid out 100 cents in the dollar. The reason the creditors were paid so high was due to a successful Deed of Company Arrangement and subsequent Creditors Trust.

"The alternative for creditors would have been a return between 0 and 9 cents in the dollar, which would have been catastrophic for the creditors - hence the formal restructure conducted by Mackay Goodwin provided an excellent result," Calabretta said.

ASIC refused to comment when contacted on the basis that it never comments on "operational matters".

SiN is aware that ASIC has been looking at 3D Group since last year but it is not known if it has concluded its investigations or if it has made any findings.

3D Group ran into trouble in 2014 after co-founder Jason Simpson fell out with fellow director John Conidi of medical imaging company Capital Health and two other business partners.

An email Conidi sent to Simpson on Christmas eve 2014 illustrates the intractable nature of the dispute, which centres on the time it was taking to develop the company's 3D printing technology and the funding shortfall hindering that development.

"To put it simply, $200k is yours up until 5pm or the reality is you get nothing after 5pm as it will go into VA (voluntary administration)," Conidi wrote.

"This position is not reversible by the directors, I suggest you seek legal advice on this point. It's up to you."

Simpson did not accept the offer and Calabretta was appointed VA at close of business that day as Conidi said. On January 7, 2015 Conidi registered a new company called 333D Pty Ltd

Following a marketing campaign the assets of 3D Group - which included technology developed by Simpson that related to manufacturing ultra-large 3D printers - were acquired by 333D Limited.

Last Thursday, 333D Pty Ltd was folded into the ASX-listed OZ Brewing via a reverse takeover. Conidi, who is an executive director of Oz Brewing, is described in the company's annual report as having exceptional business credentials.

"His clear and focused plan centred on IT and technology has resulted in vast benefits in productivity and service delivery generating increased profitability and shareholder prosperity. He believes 3D printing will revolutionise radiology, healthcare and industry in general."

Calabretta meanwhile told SiN there was nothing more he could add because he was unaware of the ASIC investigation. He's due back in the country on the weekend.

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