Receivers to interrogate Dick Smith directors

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Receivers to interrogate Dick Smith directors

Dick Smith receivers Ferrier Hodgson will publicly interrogate the retailer's former directors as part of its investigation into its collapse.

Corporate watchdog Australian Securities and Investments Commission reportedly granted permission last month for Ferrier Hodgson to question the electronic reseller's former powerbrokers.

Ferrier Hodgson partner James Stewart defended the interrogation plans to Fairfax Media in response to claims the tactic was only about triggering liability insurance claims.

"This examination process is unequivocally not designed to embarrass people, it's a process we believe we have to go through to ascertain whether sustainable claims could be made against parties," said Stewart.

Ferrier Hodgson will report its findings back to ASIC, which can take action if it finds any offences.

CRN contacted Ferrier Hodgson but no response had been received at the time of writing.

The receivers haven't confirmed which former directors will be interrogated as part of the proceedings. Before its collapse, Dick Smith's board included chief executive Nick Abboud, chief financial officer Michael Potts, chairman Robert Murray and non-executive directors Jamie Tomlinson, Lorna Raine and Robert Ishak.

Abboud resigned a week after Dick Smith went into administration. Potts was made redundant the following month.

A separate senate enquiry on Dick Smith's collapse, spearheaded by Senator Nick Xenophon, was delayed after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called a double dissolution election in April. The new Senate elected from Saturday's poll will have to vote to restart the enquiry.

Administrators McGrathNicol last week announced that Dick Smith's shareholders would not be able to recoup their investment. Dick Smith's bank lenders HSBC and NAB are owed $135 million, while the remaining $250 million is owed to unsecured creditors.

McGrathNicol has previously said all employee entitlements would be paid in full.

The administrator's report into Dick Smith's collapse is expected within the coming weeks.

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