South Canterbury Finance has announced it has paid the first US$50 million tranche of its repayment to US investors after arranging a NZ$75 million loan facility with George Kerr's Torchlight Credit Fund LP. Kerr is the major shareholder in Pyne Gould Corp, which owns Marac Finance. Here is the full statement below from South Canterbury Finance below.
South Canterbury Finance Limited today announced that it has repaid US$50 million of notes held by US investors and executed arrangements regarding a new senior $75 million funding line. The facility was arranged by Forsyth Barr and has been fully drawn down. The facility has been provided by Torchlight Credit Fund LP which has arranged funding from a syndicate of professional investors from Australia and New Zealand. Funds provided have been used by the Company to repay US$50 million of principal to institutions invested in notes issued pursuant to a US$100 million private placement. As announced last week the remaining US$50 million will be repaid progressively over the next five months Welcoming the support of Torchlight Credit Fund, South Canterbury Finance Chairman Allan Hubbard says "we are very pleased to have this new facility provided by investors who understand the business cycle and the opportunities for South Canterbury Finance. We are continuing to progress our own restructuring plans and will make further announcements when we are able to." On behalf of Torchlight Credit Fund, George Kerr says "investments that are perceived to be too difficult for banks often create opportunities for fund managers. The fund has been established to focus on exactly this type of situation. We are pleased to have been able to arrange $75 million of funding for South Canterbury Finance in support of Mr Hubbard's plans for the business." Mr Hubbard says these developments are an important step forward for the company. "South Canterbury has a proud 83 year history of supporting New Zealand businesses and we see good opportunities in the market. Completion of our restructuring will enable us to pursue these after the difficulties of the last few months." The Company also notes that it is receiving a good response from investors to the prospectus registered last week. The prospectus for a range of securities and deposits offers yields of up to 8.5 per cent per annum over a range of maturities, including a current rate of 8 per cent per annum for deposits that mature on 11 October 2010, inside the New Zealand Deposit Guarantee Scheme. Mr. Hubbard says "I would like to again acknowledge the support of our many thousands of loyal investors and customers."