Base, the company started with much fanfare in 2003 with some of the biggest names in Australian surfboards, went into receivership in September when the company’s exposure to a tax debt of almost $1 million was revealed. Since then further debts to a range of creditors and investors have combined to sink any hope of a resurrection.
The company was started when some of Australia’s top surfboard designers, including Darren Handley, Murray Bourton, Simon Anderson, Nev Hyman and Maurice Cole, joined forces to try to re-set boardmaking’s business model. Maurice and Nev soon parted ways with Base, and Simon since scaled back his involvement. Base’s remaining assets will now be sold off.
It’s a blow to the employees, some of whom are among Australia’s better surfboard craftsmen. According to ASL, creditors to Base include the ATO, who claim $947,018.75, Darren Handley’s family trust ($587,373.07), Surf Hardware International ($100,000), and several accounts connected to former Base general manager Cameron Lamperd ($450,000).
Several individual investors and funds are also listed, for amounts between $50,000 and $200,000, though absent from the list is the company’s former CEO, John Cross.
Total listed debts to date come to $2,982,331.18, which doesn’t include any debts owed to staff, who have been laid off.
More news as it develops, but a sad day for some fine craftsmen.