Tribe Breweries enters administration

Tribe Breweries is the latest brewing business to enter voluntary administration, today appointing FTI Consulting to take control of the business.

The company operates a 35 million litre brewery in Goulburn, New South Wales, also the Wilde gluten-free brand and acquired the Mornington Brewery in 2018. It also owns Stockade Brew in Sydney’s inner-west, best known as the brewery featured in the Binge television series, Colin From Accounts.

A media statement released by the administrators noted they now assume responsibility for the day-to-day running of the companies and “will work with management and key stakeholders to determine options for a restructure of the companies.”

“We will conduct an independent assessment of the financial position of Tribe and seek to make a recommendation for the future of Tribe that is in the best interest of the creditors and stakeholders,” Christopher Hill from FTI Consulting said.

The administrators advised that Tribe does not anticipate any impact on day-to-day production operations as a result of the administration process.

Tribe CEO Amarto Basu said it has been a difficult decision “but one that we hope will help put Tribe onto a sustainable footing for the future.”

“Our priority is to our team, our customers and suppliers and to provide them with maximum support through this period.

“We have made great achievements since our inception in 2018. Tribe is home to the largest number of independent craft beers brewed in Australia.

“The Board has taken the view that the company’s financial structure and debts cannot support the business at a time of challenging trading conditions.

“After exploring a range of options, the directors believe this step will provide the best opportunity to protect the future of the business and the interests of employees and stakeholders.”

The administrators will soon call the first statutory meeting of creditors, which is expected to take place on 9th March 2023.

Tribes’ future has been a source of conjecture for some time, with the AFR last year reporting that it was on the market.

The brewery was built through a partnership between the Szpitalak family and private equity firm Advent. The Szpitalak family formed Brewpack in 2012 when they acquired the assets of collapsed contractor Australian Independent Brewers, renaming the business as Tribe in 2018.

ASIC records show former CEO Anton Szpitalak resigned as a director on 3rd February.

Tribe is the latest brewery to enter administration, with Brisbane’s Easy Times successfully restructuring late last year thanks to a Deed of Company Arrangement (DOCA) with creditors.

In January this year, two companies in the Ballistic Group went into administration. A creditors meeting is scheduled to take place tomorrow, 1st March, to vote on a proposal for a DOCA.

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