The appointed administrator for managed IT services Forum Group sold the company to Sydney-based IT and voice services provider Our Kloud, owned by Eric Constantinidis, a man described by the Federal Court as a cousin of Bill Papas.
Eric Constantinidis is the sole director and shareholder of Our Kloud. Court documents reveal that Eric Constantinidis and Bill Papas are cousins and both were involved in amateur car racing in the Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia.
Mr. Constantinidis is registered on the Audi website as a customer who has participated in a series of races, alongside Mr. Papas. The couple have been described in the auto industry media as “racing friends”.
Our Kloud was mentioned in the legal proceedings brought by Westpac against Forum Finance and Mr. Papas. Our Kloud provided Forum with computer servers, and Westpac was unable to access them for days after filing its lawsuit.
Jeremy Giles, SC, representing Westpac told Federal Court on July 7 that there was “a lack of commitment” on the part of Our Kloud, observing “a slight concern that a director and shareholder of the company appears to be Mr. Papas’ cousin “.
“I can’t tell you it’s anything other than a genuine, honestly run business, but there is a family connection.”
A spokesperson for Mackay Goodwin, the Volunteer Trustees, said Our Kloud was found “through a competitive bidding process and the final sale was approved and cleared by major creditors.”
“The buyer was able to pay the full asking price up front, which was the condition of the sale,” the spokesperson said. “The main problem for the administrator was to keep the business going, avoid the loss of 70 jobs and ensure that employees could retain benefits worth millions of dollars.”
“I am delighted that we have been able to integrate over 70 Forum Group employees, adding their talent and expertise to our growing team. We look forward to this next chapter of Our Kloud’s journey, ”said Constantinidis.
There is no indication that Mr. Constantinidis had any connection or knowledge of the alleged fraud by Mr. Papas and the Forum Group.