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Fonebiz enters liquidation after vendors go direct

Fonebiz enters liquidation after vendors go direct

Increased competition in the market, and a swing towards performing telephone repairs in-house contributed to the company's demise

Australian mobile phone repair firm, 101 IT Solutions, which traded as Fonebiz, has gone into liquidation just over a month after being placed into voluntary administration.

Domenic Calabretta, of Mackay Goodwin, was appointed as liquidator on 15 November after creditors voted in favour of winding up the company, which had been in administration since October.

Calabretta, along with Grahame Ward, were also joint administrators of the company, which had its headquarters in Sydney.

“Fonebiz has carried out an extensive review of its operations in Australia and New Zealand and after careful consideration has made the difficult decision to close its mobile device repair business,” the company noted on its website when it first entered administration.

According to documents lodged by the administrators with Australia’s corporate regulator, Fonebiz entered administration with roughly $3.7 million owing to former employees and unsecured creditors.

According to financial statements lodged by the administrators, the company reported net losses of between $13,900 and $973,714 during period from July 2015 to October this year.

The company’s sales revenues during the same period fell from about $13.9 million for the year ending 30 June 2016 to $7.4 million for the year ending 30 June this year.

According to the administrators, the company’s financial performance is in line with claims by the former director, who flagged changing market conditions that resulted in an inability for the company to generate sales.

Specifically, according to the administrators’ documents, the former director said that the company’s operating model had become redundant, as the market conditions evolved.

“Previously, large technology companies had offered limited accreditations to third party service providers to exclusively provide repairs for warranty claims on their products,” a report by the administrators stated, citing comments by the former director.

“The company relied upon such contractual agreements for a majority of its sales. Contemporary telephone companies have shifted to provide the company’s services on an in-house basis,” it said.

The administrators also said that the former director of the company attributes its decline in the period prior to its administration to the rescission of a number of the largest contracts, and the issuances of further accreditations to competitors.

“Increased competition in the market, and a swing towards performing telephone repairs in-house, resulted in substantial loss of business which could not be reversed, the administrators said.

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