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The recent decision of the NSW Supreme Court in Forge Group Power Pty Limited (in Liquidation)(Receivers and Managers Appointed) vs General Electric International Inc.  NSWSC 52 highlights the peril facing owners of goods or items who do not properly secure their interest when those goods or items are in the possession of another. If you lease, lend or sell goods or items you own subject to a hire purchase agreement then you need to ensure that your interest in those goods or items is protected and properly registered on the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR).
In the above case, General Electric (“GE”) leased turbines valued at $50 million to Forge Group. Shortly afterwards Forge Group was placed into Voluntary Administration and it became apparent to the Administrators that GE had not registered its security interest in the turbines on the PPSR, with the result being that the turbines “vested” in the company and were able to be included as company assets for the purposes of the Administration. GE tried to argue that the turbines should not be included in the Administration for two reasons:
In upholding the rights of the Administrator to retain the turbines the court held that:
It is imperative that you:
Registration is relatively simple and cost effective and will provide you with the peace of mind that in the event of a liquidation or administration you will be entitled to the return of your goods or their proper value if they have been “on-sold”.