Easy Times ends voluntary administration

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Award Winning Queensland Craft Beers will continue to flow through the taps in Woolloongabba much to the delight of locals and sports fans at the iconic Gabba.

The Voluntary Administration of Easy Times Brewing Co Pty Ltd has now ended and the business has been returned to the control of the new Director/s via the execution of a Deed of Company Arrangement on 22 November 2022.

The signing of the DOCA followed the unanimous support of all creditors at the second and final meeting held on 1 November.

Easy Times Brewing Co appointed David Stimpson and Adam Kersey of SV Partners as voluntary administrators on 26 September 2022 whilst continuing the ongoing trading of the hotel under Administration.

SV Partners conducted a deep dive assessment of the reasons for failure and ultimately determined to undertake a process to restructure and re-finance the business and bring it out of administration. A significant staff and business restructure process was necessary with unsustainable wage costs one of the largest factors involved in the business becoming insolvent. A share restructure process also remains underway as a component of the DOCA which should be finalized in the next quarter.

The DOCA was accepted on the first business day after the minimum statutory VA period of 5 weeks was completed reflecting the extraordinary efforts of the business to rapidly work through the issues identified by the Administration process and to return the business to solvency.

Debts exceeding $320,000 were identified and at face value liquidation and permanent closure of the business was a very real probability without the efforts of the new management and ownership team. The Administrators received a number of preliminary offers during the VA period mostly proposing to break up the business, purchasing the brewing equipment and closing the brewpub however these proposals were ultimately not in the interests of or supported by creditors.

A Deed of Company Arrangement was proposed by The Craft Collective Pty Ltd whose owners and Directors were existing shareholders (and large creditors) of Easy Times, but not Directors. During the VA process the Craft Collective worked with all trade creditors and ensured they were paid in full such that these former minority shareholders of Easy Times carried the losses instead of their industry partners. This step alone is the primary reason that liquidation was avoided so the beers could continue to flow and the talented brewery and hotel staff remain employed.

SV Partners has confirmed that all employee entitlements were paid in fulland this was an essential element for support of the DOCA by key creditors including the ATO. The formal process of debt rejection letters for unsubstantiated debt claims remains ongoing as is the normal process in a Voluntary Administration however any claims that employee entitlements were not paid are absolutely rejected.

The SV Partners team were focused on finding a way for the underlying business operations to be restructured where possible and for trade to continue after the Voluntary Administration process was completed and the DOCA proposed by the Craft Collective was undoubtedly the most viable option to support that outcome as confirmed by the unanimous vote of all creditors.

During the administration period the Craft Collective and Easy Times team worked tirelessly to massively reduce unnecessary costs by more than $400,000 per annum, raised significant capital to ensure trade creditors were paid in full, completed record brewery production volumes and even completed the largest canning run in the history of the business to support keeping the doors open.

The entire Easy Times team are hugely grateful for the immediate and widespread support of the Craft Beer industry from Queensland and across Australia who reached out in countless ways from donated kegs, to wholesale purchases or by simply popping in and putting a few dollars in the till for a cold craft beer! That support has our heartfelt thanks to say the least, you know who you all are and we cannot thank you enough.

Trade conditions across the entire Australian hospitality industry remain challenging and whilst the VA period has now concluded the ongoing support of locals, Gabba sports fans and the broader industry continue to be needed by Easy Times and all your local breweries across Australia. Pop into your local craft beer tap house or those businesses that support craft beer today and your mouth will thank you for it!

If your small business is struggling we can speak first hand about the value and importance of seeking expert advice from specialist accounting, pre-insolvency, business and mental health support services before it’s too late. Don’t hesitate to reach out to the Easy Times team if we can return the favours and support we received and help your small business in any way we can. Every day should be RU OK day and help is never as far away as you think.

The Easy Times Brewpub is open from midday to late Wednesday to Sunday at 20 Logan Road, Woolloongabba in the dining precinct we like to call Gabba Lane. If you’re not sure where we are just look for the iconic Gabba light towers that are part of our logo and you’ll find us across the road from Gate 1 at the Gabba! We hope to see you at a Big Bash, Test Cricket or Brisbane Lions game soon, or any day when you find yourself feeling thirsty.

We also have a great range of functions options available including some limited pre-Christmas and NYE options or into 2023. You can send an enquiry to our team via email to bookings@easytimes.beer

For retail orders you can find our great range of beers and merchandise online at www.easytimes.beer or via our Facebook and Instagram social media pages. (Please follow us if you don’t already)

For wholesale or corporate orders please email orders@easytimes.beer or call our sales team on 0450 704 664.

Lastly, watch this space, there are a few more big surprises coming soon!!

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