September 04, 2017
Former Administrator and KordaMentha Partner Mark Mentha officially presented the key for the business to new CEO, Sanjeev Gupta of Liberty OneSteel (pictured above) at a ceremony in the local gardens after hundreds of people joined a march through the city.


 
The community had much to celebrate following a tumultuous 18 months where the Arrium business teetered on the brink of total collapse after falling into voluntary administration in April 2016. When KordaMentha was appointed as Administrators, the Arrium group of companies owed creditors billions of dollars and over 6,000 employees faced an uncertain future as KordaMentha embarked on what’s been described as the most complex administration process in Australian history.
 
The Administration faced multiple challenges but one that sticks out for Mark Mentha, is when the mine and steelworks were plunged into darkness as a blackout swept across South Australia on September 28 last year. The 16-strong KordaMentha team in Whyalla faced ongoing potential disasters, as the blast furnace cooled, gas pipes threatened to explode and the safety of all workers was compromised.
 
“It was around 4.20 in the afternoon, an overcast day given the wind and rain, and the look in everyone’s eye was fear because it was already one of the most dangerous work sites in Australia.”
 
As these challenges and other hurdles were tackled, the Arrium employees together with the Whyalla community, played an intrinsic role in the survival of the business, not only accepting a pay cut, but proving their ongoing positivity and resilience throughout the entire Administration process.
 
With new owner and CEO Sanjeev Gupta promising up to US$1 billion for investment across the steelworks and mining businesses, the future in Whyalla is looking much brighter. Mark Mentha and the rest of the KordaMentha team looks back on the last 18 months with great fondness and were proud to join the community in celebrating this historic day, with Mark saying, “It is a wonderful city with much to offer”.


Mark Mentha with Mayor of Whyalla, Lyn Breuer. 


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