Greek-Australian business enters administration after amassing over $5 million debt

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White Marquee Event Hire’s parent company has been placed in voluntary administration, with debts estimated at $5.7 million, but there are hopes the Greek-Australian owned company can trade through.

The company in question, Adelaide Event Group, also trades as Budget Party Hire and Renniks Events.

Administrators SV Partners, who were appointed on December 21, said the early indications were that the company had unsecured debts in the order of $3 million, “owing principally in respect of Commonwealth and State taxes and unrelated trade creditors.”

A secured financier is understood to be owed about $2.7 million, administrator Stuart Otway said.

The three brands under the AEG umbrella were “continuing to trade as normal during the administration period,’’ SV Partners told The Advertiser.

Greg Evangelou is the chief executive of White Marquee. Picture: Tait Schmaal.

The Marleston company, established in 2014, bills itself as “South Australia’s premier event hire company’’ and has supplied events such as the Tour Down Under, the Adelaide Motorsport Festival and the Royal Adelaide Show.

SV Partners said the company “remains optimistic that a formal restructure will allow the company to successfully trade into the future.”

“We understand that a Deed of Company Arrangement will be proposed, which would see control of the company returned to the director and some 35 jobs retained,’’ Mr Otway said.

This is not the first time the White Marquee brand has been in administration.

Budget Party Hire Pty Ltd, which previously operated White Marquee and was operated by Greg Evangelou, was placed in liquidation in 2015, with $1.4 million in debt including $575,000 owed to the ANZ bank and $224,442 owed to the Australian Taxation Office.

Budget Party Hire Pty Ltd was liquidated and then deregistered in 2017.

The White Marquee brand was reborn into Adelaide Event Group, which Greg’s father, Nicholas Evangelou, is the sole director of.

Greg Evangelou, now chief executive of White Marquee, on Wednesday called for calm, saying clients won’t lose deposits and bookings will be honoured.

“No small businesses will be affected,’’ he said.

“No clients will lose their deposits, all bookings will be honoured. We are very confident that we will get out of this bind.’’

Mr Evangelou was previously a director of the Asiafest festival, which was placed in liquidation in 2016 with debts of more than $400,000. Picture: Tait Schmaal.

There were “a lot of bookings early in the New Year” he said, and the last thing he wanted was brides in tears on Christmas Day thinking their wedding would be cancelled.

Mr Evangelou said the company had experienced an almost 100 percent fall in revenues at some stages of the COVID lockdowns, and the first major event the company had to look forward to was the next Royal Adelaide Show in September which was too far away to make a difference.

“We’re very confident we’ll be able to negotiate with investors and come out of it successfully,’’ he said.

White Marquee employed about 80 staff pre-COVID, which has fallen to about 35.

Mr Evangelou said no staff entitlements were at risk.

Mr Evangelou was previously a director of the Asiafest festival, which was placed in liquidation in 2016 with debts of more than $400,000.

Source: The Advertiser.

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