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The auction firm, which has branches in Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland in New Zealand, closed on December 21 and three people from accountancy firm BDO were appointed voluntary administrators that day.

In a statement from BDO it said its specialists are “undertaking an urgent assessment of the business and will be exploring all options”.

The combined auctioneer and art gallery firm was set up by Paul Sumner and Amanda Swanson in 2004 but has expanded quickly, including merging with Leski Auctions in 2013 and buying Webb’s of Auckland in 2015.

It recently opened a new gallery and events space in Sydney.

In an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald, Sumner said the steps were taken after the withdrawal of its key investor and he admitted the firm had “grown a little bit fast considering that the market plateaued”.

Sumner and Swanson bought the shares of investor, businessman Jack Gringlas, in July. Sumner said he now plans to restructure the company. And in a further comment to ATG, he said "no vendors or artists will be out-of-pocket" and that the administration process should be concluded at the end of January to "clear out historical debt and costs".

The first meeting of the creditors will be held at BDO’s Melbourne office on January 4.

Sumner added that Mossgreen-Webb's in New Zealand is not affected by the Australian arm going into administration.