Liquidated Whale Oil company owes more than half a million dollars

The liquidator of Social Media Consultants has already issued her first report. While total debts are unknown (including the bank and IRD) Sundry Creditors total $519,625, and there’s another $146,361 owed to the shareholder Current Account, and subscribers with an estimated $5,000 paid in advance.

Most of the sundry creditors are likely to be lawyers bills and court awarded costs in several defamation proceedings Cameron Slater and Social media Consultants Limited remain embroiled in.

The only assets apart from $856 in the bank and $4,538 debtors are Intangibles – listed as blog, domain name and IP.

 

Slater’s stroke may have had some impact on ongoing income, but his legal costs must have had most impact. he was hit with several expensive legal whammies in the weeks just before and after he had his stroke.

$5,000 doesn’t sound a lot for 300+ subscribers. perhaps most of them are only paying monthly. That would be a prudent approach at this stage.

Who would be interested in buying Whale Oil?

It’s difficult to know what the blog and website address would be worth. It would hardly be a going concern, and it could be an expensive hobby.

The liquidator states that a priority is obtaining a legal opinion on “the ability to sell the blog which contains personal information that may be subject to legal proceedings in the future”. It could be a big job checking the vast content still online for legal risks.

There might be most value from someone who had an interest in buying Whale Oil to shut the blog down and scrap all contents. That would be a huge fall from the heights it reached five years ago. Dirty Politics probably precipitated the fall, but the ongoing legal issues ended up being the most damaging.

Slater has ruled himself out of involvement in the blog, and it’s difficult to see how the current sole shareholder, Juana Atkins, can continue there either. Atkins has done a huge job reorganising and running Whale Oil over the last few months, but she may not see much for her efforts.

NZ Herald:  Whale Oil company owes more than $670,000 – liquidator

I can find no sign of this news on Whale Oil, nor of the company going into liquidation earlier in the week.

They are still advertising subscriptions and meat. They have shuffled things to different companies, but this must be a but suspect, especially the subscriptions.