THE man at the centre of a Newcastle business collapse that saw investors lose more than $1.5 million last year, is back in business looking for new investors.
Brad Scott, of Bar Beach, is trying his luck with fluid pumps again, chasing new investors for his startup, Gas Energy Worldwide, offering shares for 20 cents.
The Newcastle Herald reported last week that Mr Scott was the director and largest individual shareholder of mining technology development company Hitech Hippo Australia that was placed in liquidation last year.
Hopes of Hunter investors who pumped their hard-earned savings into the company were destroyed when it was revealed that the “cutting edge” technology at the centre of the business, promoted as going to revolutionise the oil and gas fracking industries, is all but worthless.
The high-pressure hydraulic pumps – estimated in the company’s audited financial reports as worth more than $2.5 million in 2007 – were actually valued last year at $1000 as scrap metal.
According to documents supplied to the Herald, Mr Scott is promoting his new venture as having “the expert personnel, technology, specialised tried proven and patented systems to provide the energy the world needs”.
Gas Energy Worldwide is described as a manufacturer of a “unique highly efficient fluids pump” that will be used in the gelled LPG fracking industry.
Two of Mr Scott’s previous companies have been placed in liquidation, Hitech Hippo Australia last year and Hunter Hydraulics in 1995.
Hitech Hippo liquidator Simon Thorn, of PKF Australia, said when the company was placed in administration in August last year, it had $9944 in the bank and the only equipment it owned were two pumps, minus engines, and two incomplete pumps, regarded as spares, that were rusting away in an outdoor Hexham storage yard.
In a director’s statement made in August last year, Mr Scott reported the pumps had a book value of $1.13 million.
The same month, Slattery Asset Advisory valued them at $1000.
Numerous investors told the Herald it was Mr Scott who talked them into investing in Hitech Hippo after telling them the company was “on the verge” of signing major contracts for the use of its pumps.
Angry investors are demanding to know why the business failed.
Geoff Page, a Newcastle-based forensic accountant, has provided a 1000-page report on Hitech Hippo’s collapse to ASIC and the NSW Police.
Mr Scott did not respond to the Herald’s requests for comment.
- Reporter Donna Page is no relation of Newcastle-based forensic accountant Geoff Page.