Name swap intrigue for Slush Puppie
A LAWYER for the company behind Slush Puppie says it swapped names with a related company due to a "business reconstruction" as he attempts to distance it from court action over an alleged debt.
In a statement sent to journalists to address "incorrect and misleading media reports", Slush Puppie's lawyer Richard Holt said a $60,000 claim filed in the Victorian Supreme Court against Doggone Qld Pty Ltd, had "no connection with the Slush Puppie business".
Yet company records show Doggone Qld traded as Slush Puppie for more than 23 years before swapping its name with a new company in March.
Both companies have Nerang businessmen Frank and Murray Stafford as former or current directors and major shareholders.
Slush Puppie's business website was still registered under the company number belonging to the previous entity.
The lawsuit lodged against the old company demands payment by today and threatens wind up action if the alleged debt is not settled.
Mr Holt's statement said "the absence of any reported litigation is a testament to the credit worthiness and reputation of the Slush Puppie business".
"The company that operates the Slush Puppie business in Australia is a successful company which is not a party to any litigation or winding up proceedings," the statement said.
"Its directors, Murray Stafford and Frank Stafford, are not a party to any litigation or court proceedings."
ASIC documents show that in March 2018, directors of Slush Puppie Pty Ltd changed the name to "DG Qld Pty Ltd".
A day later they changed it to "Doggone Qld Pty Ltd" and changed the name of a second company they'd created a month earlier to Slush Puppie Pty Ltd.
In response to follow-up questions about the name changes, Mr Holt said "the changes to the Slush Puppie business were due to a business reconstruction and introduction of new shareholders to the business".
A 10 per cent stake in the current Slush Puppie company is owned by its general manager Anthony Hartigan, while the other 90 per cent is held by S.P.A. Property and Investment Co Pty Ltd, an entity controlled by the Frank, Murray and Barbara Stafford.
Mr Holt was himself a former director of S.P.A. Property and Investment, for eight days in September last year.
Frank and Murray Stafford are directors of the current Slush Puppie company, while Frank Stafford is sole director of the previous company, which is owned by Murray and Barbara Stafford.
Neither Robert McCallum, the person taking court action against the previous Slush Puppie company, nor his lawyer, could be contacted.
Timeline according to ASIC:
*A new company is created called Doggone Qld Pty Ltd
* The company that had traded as Slush Puppie Pty Ltd for 23 years changes its name twice in two days and is now also known as Doggone Qld Pty Ltd
* The new company changes its name from Doggone Qld Pty Ltd to Slush Puppie Pty Ltd
* Court action is taken in Victoria over an alleged legal debt of the old Slush Puppie company, now known as Doggone Qld Pty Ltd
* Slush Puppie lawyer denies the court case is connected to the business