Brewers hit by Keystone collapse

The Sugarmill in Kings Cross

The Sugarmill in Kings Cross

The collapse of one of Australia’s largest hospitality groups will serve as a reminder to brewers to keep their accounts receivable in check.

The Keystone Group had thousands of creditors when it fell into administration last month, with several brewers amongst their number.

The worst hit was likely Carlton & United Breweries, which was the dominant beer supplier to many of Keystone’s 17 pubs and restaurants.

But the brewer successfullymitigated its losses by dealing with Keystone only on a cash on delivery basis for some months in the lead-up to its demise.

Keystone scarcely dealt with independents but there were nevertheless a number of smaller brewers caught in the fallout.

Those present at the first meeting of creditors last Friday were told that as at April 2016, Keystone had recorded a book value of assets of approximately $79 million.

Its total creditors’ claims amounted to $112 million, of which $78 million was owing to secured creditors and $34 million to unsecured creditors.

The most recent accounts available to the administrators were for the financial year ended June 2015, when Keystone reported a net loss of $24 million on the back of trading revenue of $120 million.

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