A prominent Adelaide hotels syndicate that did secret deals with major breweries over access to an Adelaide pub’s beer taps has fallen into liquidation.
In May, the Supreme Court ordered Bloody Mary Group directors Brett Viney and Matthew Mitchell to pay $383,000 to their former Windmill Hotel business partners, Michael and Nicholas Crouch.
Justice Sam Doyle ruled that Mr Viney and Mr Mitchell had conveyed false representations by concealing lucrative deals — for access to the hotel’s beer taps — from the Crouches.
The hotel, which was later sold, had been making significant losses while rebates for the pub’s beer taps flowed to the Bloody Mary Group, according to the court judgment.
Now, the Bloody Mary Group has fallen into liquidation, according to a notice published on corporate regulator ASIC’s website.
Forensic services firm DuncanPowell has been appointed to wind up the company.
Partner Chris Powell said the $383,000 in damages had yet to be paid to the former business partners.
Mr Powell said neither the Bloody Mary Group nor its directors had enough assets to pay such a sum.
“The reality is there isn’t going to be any funds within the Bloody Mary Group to meet that judgement,” he said.
“We don’t believe they have assets to pay any substantial liability.”
He added that an appeal had been lodged against the judgement, but that it would not go ahead until such time as the appellants can pay a security deposit.
The Bloody Mary Group had been a significant player in the South Australian hotels industry, managing staff and negotiating pricing with liquor suppliers for a series of hotels.
But several of those businesses collapsed while under the Bloody Mary Group’s management.
They include the historic Archer Hotel in North Adelaide and the Kincraig in Naracoorte — both of which have since reopened under new management.
“Bloody Mary Group … enabled better deals in terms of purchasing liquor [and] managing staff when it was operating at its full capacity,” Mr Powell said.
“The benefits dissipated as the various establishments ceased to operate.”
Restaurant and bar business also collapses
On Friday, Mr Viney and Mr Mitchell’s Norwood restaurant and bar business, Stone’s Throw, also collapsed.
The liquidation of that business is also being managed by DuncanPowell.
Mr Powell said Stone’s Throw owes about $500,000 to the Australian Tax Office and approximately $500,000 to other creditors.
He said there was now a “substantial shortfall”, meaning not enough assets left to pay the debts.
An auction of plant and equipment from Stone’s Throw is expected within a fortnight.
Mr Viney did not return phone calls or text messages from the ABC.
The ABC also attempted to contact Mr Mitchell.