NuKorc, the world’s second biggest synthetic cork maker, has filed for bankruptcy with estimated debts of AUS$4m.
Adelaide-based insolvency experts PPB have been appointed as administrators of the company, based in Pooraka, South Australia, and are attempting to sell the business as a going concern.
Founded in 1996, NuKorc enjoyed more than a decade of growth before being hit by the economic downturn, the global decline in wine sales and the strength of the Australian dollar.
The company opened subsidiaries in Napa, California, in 2004, and near Barcelona in Spain in 2005, expanding production capacity at Pooraka a year later to about 1.3bn closures a year.
Former BRL Hardy managing director and Constellation Wines CEO Stephen Millar is chairman of the company board, which also includes Australian wine luminary Wolf Blass.
Following an initial creditors meeting earlier today (5 March), PPB is inviting indicative offers to buy the company over the next week, with unconditional offers due to be submitted by 26 March.
NuKorc’s subsidiaries in Europe and the US are not under the direct control of PPB, but it is understood that those businesses are also up for sale.
Written by Richard Woodard