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Axed Guvera staff in Americas reportedly still waiting for owed wages

By | Published on Tuesday 1 November 2016


While former employees of flagging streaming service Guvera’s Australian business generally received what they were due financially when the digital firm put two of its subsidiaries into administration earlier this year, axed staffers in the US and Latin America say they have not benefited from such formalities.

As previously reported, Guvera put two of its Australian companies into administration and withdrew its service from various markets, including home territory Australia, after it was forced to abandon plans to IPO when the stock exchange it had chosen blocked the flotation.

Guvera had hoped to raise new finance via the Australian Securities Exchange despite its low revenues, heavy debts and some ongoing legal battles. And, unlike most streaming music firms, which see free streaming as primarily a marketing channel to upsell paid for accounts, Guvera insisted it was going to succeed by cornering the ad-funded side of the streaming business, especially in emerging markets.

After Guvera Australia and Guv Services went into administration, much attention was put on the firm’s talks with its creditors, many of whom were ex-employees. But a deal was done and the company has seemingly met its obligations under that arrangement.

But those talks didn’t include staff affected by Guvera bailing on various other markets. And according to The Sydney Morning Herald, those former employees are still trying to get monies owed to them, or indeed simply a response from the streaming firm.

The paper says that the former staff sent a letter to directors of the company in September, addressed to Guvera co-founder Claes Loberg, who became CEO after the failed IPO, asking for an update on the money they are owed.

It reads: “When the IPO failed, we understood that in the absence of funding, hard choices would follow. While it was still a shock to be informed of the closure of our markets on June 30, we understood the economic reality facing Guvera and the decision to refocus on the most viable markets”.

It then notes the deal that has been done with former staff in Australia, before stating: “Claes, it is now more than three months since any of us received any monies from Guvera. No administrator has been appointed. No payment plan has been presented”.

Guvera is yet to respond to the Herald’s story. In the UK, former employees of Blinkbox, the Tesco-owned streaming service Guvera acquired in a failed bid to launch over here, took the firm to an Employment Tribunal over the way it bailed on its British business.