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Renaissance... Six months none the richer

12 Aug 2014

Hitting the final nail into the Renaissance coffin, shareholders yesterday approved by way of Special Resolution the appointment of Andrew McKay and Justin Bosley of Corporate Finance Ltd as liquidators of the ailing company.

At a Special General Meeting held at the Langham Hotel, Auckland, the resolution has been branded a “long time coming” by chairman Richard Ebbet.

With share prices sitting at $0.146 on the New Zealand Stock Exchange, Renaissance has sold all of its operating businesses and will soon follow suit following years of strife in the market.

Formerly Consolidated Enterprises and then Triumph Industries, the company has been involved in a variety of pursuits over the years, but in 1994 its focus returned to computer distribution with the re-acquisition of the CED Group.

Traditional distribution brands included Apple and Adobe, and since 2001, the group's business has operated as three autonomous units - distribution, education and eBusiness.

Big-money acquisitions during 2007-08, plus an agreement to distribute Fuji Xerox printer to the New Zealand market in 2010, preceded a turbulent past few years for the company - with the business failing to experience “consecutive ‘normal’ trading years since 2008.”

After ending 2013 with a net operating loss of $1,684,000, for the year to September 30 2013, 2014 failed to get better with Renaissance chairman Colin Giffney outlining the company’s bleak future to shareholders in January.

“Ideally the board would be able to sell retail, wind Renaissance up and distribute funds to shareholders,” he said at the time. “As I write, we are still some way from achieving that goal.”

On the rocks amid its yo-yo Yoobee School of Design with the Academic Colleges Group (ACG) sale, to the relief of many a $14m deal was finally completed in early March as the board of directors desperately tried to return value to its shareholders.

“Your directors have not made this decision lightly,” Giffney told investors.

“Considering all the issues facing Renaissance, we believe this course is in the best interests of all shareholders. There are many factors behind the decision.”

A matter of days later Renaissance then agreed to the sale of its Yoobee Apple computer retailing operation, for a measly $1. As a result, Logical Systems Limited acquired the assets, fixtures and fittings of the retail business for just $1.

And after advising shareholders that any payments were unlikely to be made before June, in April Renaissance revealed plans to wrap up existing leases and contracts before appointing a liquidator - which investors subsequently agreed on.

With Chief Financial Officer Donovan Smith advising shareholders a month later that the company’s stance had not changed regarding its plans to appoint a liquidator - the wheels were put in motion to wind up an organisation which had been struggling for years to keep its head above water.

And upon closing the company’s Special General Meeting in Auckland yesterday, Renaissance has taken its biggest stride yet to returning money to its long-suffering shareholders…