EXCLUSIVE:Big Indian Retailer Runs Ruler Over Dick Smith, Aboud Questioned By ASIC.

Written by David Richards     03/02/2016 | 17:23 | Category: INDUSTRY

Indian retail group Tata is believed to have recently met with Ferrier Hodgson, the administrators of the failed Dick Smith retail Chain with a view to taking over the failed retailer.

EXCLUSIVE:Big Indian Retailer Runs Ruler Over Dick Smith, Aboud Questioned By ASIC.
Tata who were late in expressing their interest in Dick Smith is currently reviewing the current operations of the retailer however sources have said that the Indian Company "has reservations" about the asking price and the fact that certain executives who worked with former CEO Nick Aboud are still working at Dick Smith.

According to sources only two other groups expressed an interest in the failed retail chain. The included Jaycar and Super Cheap Auto, both Australian Companies have failed to take their interest in the retailer further. 

Tata Group is one of the largest multinational conglomerates in India, the Company was founded in 1868. 

Last year the group had revenues of US$108.78 billion, they employ over 600,000 people.

There are 30 publicly-listed Tata enterprises with a combined market capitalisation of about $134 billion (as on March 31, 2015).

ChannelNews has been told that Tata is interested in turning Dick Smith stores into Croma Stores. This is a consumer electronics retail chain owned by Tata and operated across the Indian sub continent.

We can also reveal that the former CEO of Dick Smith Nick Aboud, has been questioned by investigators from the Australian Securities and Investment Commission.

ChannelNews has been told that Aboud is working as a consultant with Anchorage Capital executives who are currently running a ruler over Mitre 10.

Industry sources believe Cave's Anchorage Capital Partners is one of at least two private equity firms that have been speaking to Metcash about a merger of Mitre 10 and Home Timber & Hardware.

Aboud has been questioned about the activities of Dick Smith interrelated Companies, in particular a Hong Kong based Company that according to sources generated book profits for Dick Smith in Australia despite no stock being shipped into Dick Smith stores.

Questions are also being asked of Mark Scott a current Dick Smith executive who is still responsible for Dick Smith's buying operations. 
Mark Scott left and Nick Aboud right.

Scott a former Myer executive has been described by several former Dick Smith executives as the "right hand man" of former Chief Executive Nick Aboud and a person who dealt with Dick Smiths Hong Kong based buying group.
Scott was appointed Director of Buying & Marketing in September 2015 shortly after Apple pulled the plug on the mass retailer and several buyers had quit the Company.
Insiders claim that Dick Smith was forced to obtain a line of credit from Macquarie Bank after Apple demanded that Dick Smith payout the US Company. At the time Dick Smith was discounting out Apple products in an effort to generate traffic to their stores. 

ChannelNews has been told that Ferrier Hodgson has already questioned Smith about trading activities that went on between Hong Kong based entities and Dick Smith operations in Australia.

Smith who joined Dick Smith in May 2014 was previously a Myer General Manager.
At Myer he worked with both Nick Aboud and former Dick Smith Marketing Director.

Another person who ASIC want to question is former Dick Smith General Manager Rod Orrick who is now working at Best + Less.
Orrick who quit Dick Smith after just 14 months at the Company is believed to have had a falling out with Nick Aboud over "certain activities" that Dick Smith management was engaging in.

Orrick quit Dick Smith in September 2015 along with several other executive.

Orrick is currently bound by a Dick Smith confidentiality agreement that prevents him from talking to the media.

Ferrier Hodgson confirmed today that up to 3200 staff could have gone underpaid for six years a situation that could cost the recievers over $2 million dollars as staff entitlements could take priority.

The reciever has also confirmed that an additional 22 people located at the Companies Head Office have been sacked, among those layed off is chief financial officer Michael Potts, who has been with the Company for three years.