Hanover Finance investors voted 75.45% in favour of a debt-for-equity swap proposal from Allied Farmers after an often angry meeting at Ellerslie convention centre. This just exceeded the 75% threshold required by a margin equivalent to NZ$1.25 million of investments out of a total pool of NZ$436 million. After the vote, Allied Farmers Managing Director and major shareholder Rob Alloway said the tough job of fixing Hanover Finance's non-performing loans lay ahead of the company. Hotchin told reporters he was pleased with the result. He denied that his other finance company, FAI Finance, would now start lending against development properties with a new trust deed. See this live blog for a full report of the meeting. The mood of the meeting was against the proposal and it appears the margin of votes at the meeting was much tighter than for proxy votes. The vote of the 277,099,626 votes took over 3 hours and there was one recount. As Rob Alloway told me after the meeting of the margin of victory: "That's just one investor." Here is a copy of the media release from Hanover below.
Hanover Independent Chairman David Henry has announced investors have voted in favour of the Allied Farmers Proposal. "This strong level of support from investors shows that they believe that the Allied Farmers Proposal was the best option for them. "By accepting this Proposal, investors have chosen an opportunity to realise much greater long-term value from their investment than remaining in the existing Debt Restructure Plan [DRP]." Mr Henry said the Allied Farmers Proposal provides a much better structure for the assets to be held in than the Hanover and United companies could have achieved in the foreseeable future given the extremely difficult commercial development property market. Shareholder Mark Hotchin said he was pleased that Hanover investors have voted to take up the Allied Farmers Proposal. "This outcome reinforces investors made the right decision last year to vote for the DRP moratorium. It allowed time for options such as this Proposal to become possible. "Allied Farmers has a good future - it now has a considerable asset base and the time and resources available to achieve much greater value from the assets in the future. "My immediate focus is to work with the independent directors to ensure the smooth transition of all Hanover assets to Allied Famers." Mr Henry thanked investors for their participation at the recent investor meetings held around the country, and in reviewing the Proposal material. "We wish Allied Farmers well with the next phase of its history," he said.