As expected, the company behind New Zealand's largest specialist music chain was formally placed in liquidation today (Jan. 31), with the majority of creditors unlikely to see any of NZ$25 million ($19 million)-plus owed.

At a watershed meeting in Auckland, creditors voted unanimously to liquidate Icon Digital Entertainment, which owned Sounds Music, along with a specialist chain Games Plus and seven Blockbuster franchise stores. However, Icon founder Steve Dods failed to turn up to the meeting, having left for Hong Kong the previous Saturday.

Stephen Tubbs, of administrator BDO Spicers, says his non-appearance will be reported to the Government business regulator, the Companies Office, which is already investigating other aspects of the collapse of the group.

Although the major record companies are covered by insurance, many independent labels are out of pocket, with there being insufficient funds to even cover the claims of secure creditors.

Formed in 1991, Sounds at one stage had 50 stores and a 30 percent market share in New Zealand. Dods bought the company in 2006, but it began hemorrhaging money almost immediately.

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