ASX-listed Rectifier Technologies claims $25m debt from collapsed Tritium

ASX-listed Rectifier Technologies claims $25m debt from collapsed Tritium

Photo: Rectifier Technologies.

An ASX-listed power module supplier to collapsed electric vehicle (EV) charger group Tritium claims it is owed $24.6 million by the Brisbane-headquartered company that went into administration last month, with the former unicorn's woes seeming to have ripple effects on the bottom line and leadership of Rectifier Technologies (ASX: RFT).

On 9 February 2022,  the same day Tritium's CEO Jane Hunter joined US President Joe Biden to discuss a fast-charger roll-out and new manufacturing facility in Tennessee, Melbourne-based Rectifier announced it had received US$20 million worth of purchase orders from the Brisbane company, building on its supplier relationship dating back to 2017.

As recently as September last year, shortly before Tritium announced the closure of its Brisbane factory, Rectifier reported that in FY23 it had delivered 75 per cent of those orders with expectations the remainder would be shipped by the end of 2023.

Tritium is not Rectifier's only customer in the space, but in the December half sales for its EV power suppliers division plummeted 74 per cent year-on-year to $4.1 million.

The company's result thus went from a $4 million profit in the equivalent period in 2022 to a loss of $2.1 million in the six months to 31 December 2023.

According to the first meeting of creditors for Tritium held at the start of this month, Rectifier-affiliated companies Rectifier Technologies Pacific Pty Ltd and Rectifier Technologies Singapore Pte Ltd claimed they were owed $5.23 million and $19.4 million respectively.

Business News Australia has reached out to representatives of Rectifier for clarifications of this claims, but at the time of publication is yet to receive a response.

Rectifier has been in a state of leadership volatility since 29 November when five directors, including then CEO Yanbing Wang who had served in the role since 2010, tendered their resignations in one day. This was just a few weeks after Tritium flagged it would be drastically cutting back its Brisbane workforce and closing the factory in Murrarie.

A release from Rectifier at the time said three of these directors - Jitto Arulampalam, Tino Vescovi and Nicholas Yeoh - cited serious concerns regarding corporate governance.

In mid-March this year, chairman Yingming Wang announced he would be stepping down upon a return to stability at the company, while he son Zorn Wong (Zong Xu Wang) stepped into the role of CEO. Hasaka Martin also resigned as company secretary on 1 May.

Other major creditors to Tritium include Sunset Power as a trustee for the St Baker Family Trust which is claiming $65 million, CBA Corporate Services NSW which is claiming $199.5 million, and GPT Newcastle Development which is claiming $11.8 million, alongside others such as Flextronics Industrial ($13 million), Jiyuan Co ($2.7 million), Syskim International ($1.2 million), Venture Electronics Services Malaysia ($4.4 million) and Click International Hong Kong ($1.3 million).

A second meeting of creditors is due to be held on or before 27 May, unless the court extends the date.

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