LIQUIDATION: Former Ayla Constructions director Mark Deighton.
LIQUIDATION: Former Ayla Constructions director Mark Deighton. Contributed

Construction company collapses as hidden heartache revealed

THE hidden pain behind a Coast construction company's collapse has been revealed.

Ayla Constructions Pty Ltd entered voluntary liquidation on Friday, after a long battle to try and keep the company afloat.

The company, directed by Mark Deighton, was renowned for its high-end work on new homes and renovations around the region.

Liquidator Jason Cronan, director of SV Partners Sunshine Coast, said Mr Deighton had been trying "for some time" to resolve the company's debt issues.

Mr Cronan said he'd been told the loss of Mr Deighton's wife and daughter within a short period some years ago had taken its toll and Mr Deighton had "lost the will to fight" to keep the company running.

"He's really tried all he could to save it," Mr Cronan said.

Mr Cronan said two "guardian angel" investors had put in about $500,000 in total over the past 6-12 months, in a bid to keep the company afloat.

BUILD: One of the homes which featured under new builds on the Ayla Constructions website. ABOVE: Former Ayla Constructions director and shareholder Mark Deighton.
BUILD: One of the homes which featured under new builds on the Ayla Constructions website. ABOVE: Former Ayla Constructions director and shareholder Mark Deighton. Contributed

Mr Cronan said Mr Deighton had ensured all building works were finished up to the end of May, before he handed in his building licence, unable to continue.

Mr Cronan said there was another entity looking at undertaking a possible restructure of the company to keep it going.

He said Mr Deighton had "paid back a significant amount of the company debt" already, but it was understood there was still "at least" hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of debt outstanding to trade suppliers and other groups.

Mr Cronan said continuing the company had been considered, with the support of the "guardian angel" investors, but a lack of work, weather and the general economic climate had conspired to ensure the company couldn't be sustained as it was.

"He (Mr Deighton) didn't leave any customers in the lurch," Mr Cronan said.

"He's pretty gutted."

Mr Deighton registered the company in late-2011, and named it in honour of his daughter, Ayla Deighton.

The Sunshine Coast born and bred local had followed in his grandfather's footsteps, who was also a builder, and had established a reputation for quality, high-end work, including stunning hinterland homes and sprawling coastal mansions.

In August last year the Daily reported that Craig Cleary, of The Cleary Group, which had gone into liquidation, had transferred a number of projects to Ayla Constructions for completion.

Mr Deighton was the director and sole shareholder of Ayla Constructions.

Mr Cronan said it was too early to say exactly how many creditors there were and how much was owed, or comment on the likelihood of a recovery.

He said he expected his investigations to take about six months.

Mr Deighton placed the company into liquidation about 10am Friday, when he appointed SV Partners Queensland executive director and national board member David Stimpson to wind the company up.

Mr Deighton was unable to comment as the company was now in the hands of liquidators.



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