Colorado Group, the owner of JAG, Diana Ferrari, Colorado, Mathers, Williams, has been placed in receivership following the board’s appointment of voluntary administrators.

Ferrier Hodgson partners James Stewart, Brendan Richards and Will Colwell were appointed receivers and managers over the group.

Receiver James Stewart said the group’s decline in performance was largely driven by the poor performance of the Colorado-branded stores. The other brands are performing well given market conditions.

“Mathers and Williams are the largest speciality footwear brands in Australia, while JAG and Diana Ferrari are also very good businesses,” he said.

Colorado Group was the subject of a hostile takeover by Hong Kong-based Affinity Equity Partners in November 2006. Affinity’s exposure via secured loan notes totals $135 million.

The group owes around $400 million to a syndicate of 18 financiers. Unsecured creditors are owed approximately $27 million. Employee entitlements are expected to total about $7 million.

Meanwhile, the group’s budgeted EBITDA for the financial year of 2011 was $53.9 million and was recently reforecast to $18.6 million by the board.

Also, over the past four years, the group management team has changed three times.

Stewart said it would be business as usual while the receivers look at the restructuring and realisation opportunities for the group.

He also confirmed all employee entitlements are protected and that all gift cards and lay-bys will be honoured.