Charity Loses $200,000 in Dick Smith Collapse
7 January 2016 at 5:29 pm
Australia’s oldest and largest service provider in the field of epilepsy has been left with a funding gap of $200,000 following the voluntary administration and receivership of Dick Smith Holdings Limited.
Epilepsy Action Australia has said it had an agreement to partner with the electronics giant to support it major fundraising activity, Purple Day, which is held on 26 March.
CEO of Epilepsy Action Australia, Carol Ireland, said the funds raised from Purple Day activities from January to April were vital to providing ongoing services, education and support for people living with epilepsy in Australia.
She said Dick Smith was “pivotal” to distributing merchandise for the organisation nationally and their sponsorship would have covered upfront costs, some of which have already been spent.
“In itself, the potential demise of Dick Smith stores is a national tragedy. A sad side effect is that this demise of the Dick Smith Holdings Limited may severely affect the lives of thousands of men, women and children who have epilepsy,” Ireland said.
Ireland said the charity now had no distribution outlets and broken commitments that would have a direct cost of more than $100,000. The organisation is now pleading for public assistance to enable their activities to continue.
“This is a plea for help. Ideally, what we are looking for is a national retailer with a heart of gold that can hopefully step in to save the day,” she said.
“But we would be grateful for any donation, big or small, to lessen the blow – it all makes a difference.
“On behalf of the 800,000 Australians that will experience the unpredictable and often debilitating effect of epilepsy at some point in their lives, we would be eternally grateful to anyone that can assist us in this unfortunate situation.”
Ferrier Hodgson partners James Stewart, Jim Sarantinos and Ryan Eagle were yesterday appointed Receivers and Managers over Dick Smith Holdings and a number of its associated entities.
The appointment was made by a syndicate of lenders which hold security over the group.
Stewart said it was too early to clearly identify the primary causes of the company’s current financial position and the reasons for its decline other than saying the business had become cash constrained in recent times.
“Dick Smith is one of the best known brands associated with consumer electronics in Australia and New Zealand,” Stewart said.
“We are immediately calling for expressions of interest for a sale of the business as a going concern.”
Dick Smith Holdings operates 393 stores across Australia and New Zealand under four brands, Dick Smith, Electronics powered by Dick Smith, Move and Move by Dick Smith. It has 3,300 employees and annual sales of approximately $1.3 billion.