Heavy Haulage Australia may live on - in some form

By: Rob McKay


Administrator "reasonably confident" of saving HHA, even if the business has to be split up.

Heavy Haulage Australia may live on - in some form
Jon Kelly has seen HHA's fortunes take a turn for the worse.

 

The search for a positive outcome for Heavy Haulage Australia (HHA) has entered its next stage following Friday’s deadline for expressions of interest (EOIs) in the firm.

HHA entered voluntary administration last week, with accountancy Ferrier Hodgson handling the company, and haulage firm McAleese, which owns half of HHA, making threatening legal noises.

"We’ve had a really good level of interest in the business," Ferrier Hodgson partner Brendan Richards says.

"It’s only early in terms of the process of selling it.

"We’ve had lots of expressions of interest – converting those into offers is the real task."

Amongst the EOIs, Ferrier Hodgson is also fielding interest in parts of HHA’s business.

Even if it comes to breaking the business up, Richards says he is "feeling reasonably confident that there is a solution out there".

On the block are assets including around 55 prime movers, 120 heavy haulage trailers, 15 cranes and 45 pilot cars and light commercials. 

HHA’s services include mobile, track and rough terrain cranes, oil and gas rig and camp move services, self-propelled modular trailers and licenced electronic haulage escorts. 

It also has facilities in Brisbane, Toowoomba/Wellcamp, Beaudesert, Port Hedland, Perth and Darwin. 

Group turnover is estimated at about $50 million, which is said to be the amount sought by all creditors and about what HHA paid for trailers and 40 new Macks 18 months ago.

The $3 million purchase of half of HHA last November has been a huge headache for McAleese, which has admitted woes related to the move will cost it $17 million.

HHA’s public profile was raised with its appearance last year in satellite TV show MegaTruckers, which also brought managing director Jon Kelly to broader prominence.

But with that has come scrutiny of its finances.

Following the administration announcement, Kelly has stated that McAleese has been in the driving seat since the takeover.

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