The directors of the Kleenmaid Group (Kleenmaid) have called in voluntary administrators to take control of the business.

Deloitte partners John Greig, Richard Hughes and David Lombe have been appointed to control the group and investigate the affairs of the business.

Headquartered in Maroochydore, Queensland, the kitchen and laundry appliance group had a turnover of $90 million in the year to June 2008 and owes $12 billion to around 2800 trade creditors.

Greig said that the global financial crisis had severely impacted sales and margins, and all attempts by the directors to obtain new financial support for the business have met with no success in the present economic circumstances.

He said that the first aim of the administrators will be to assess the financial position of the group and to explore the options available.

Greig stated that there were approximately 150 employees with the business but he expected that not all staff would be able to keep their job.

“The voluntary administrators will be closely assessing how to preserve as many jobs as possible,” he said.

The administrators will be writing to all creditors to inform them of the first meeting of creditors, while recommendations on the future of Kleenmaid will be provided at the second creditors meeting.

The Kleenmaid Group was founded in 1985 and is one of the few distributors to sell its appliance products direct to the public.

Kleenmaid currently has 20 retail outlets located in QLD, NSW, VIC, SA and WA, of which 15 are franchised and five are wholly owned by the company.

In addition, there is a warehouse facility in which stocks of finished appliances are kept pending sale, a spare parts business, as well as 30 franchisees providing in-home service throughout Australia.