Strategic Finance receivers put loans up for sale; open investigation into accounts

Strategic Finance receivers put loans up for sale; open investigation into accounts

By Gareth Vaughan

Strategic Finance's receivers John Fisk and Colin McCloy want to sell the company's loan book and plan a full investigation into Strategic and parties associated with it. (Update adds receivers' explanation on why no potential recovery range has been provided).

In their first letter to investors the receivers, from PricewaterhouseCoopers, don't provide any estimate on how much money they might recover.

However, they say Strategic's loan book, its main asset, contains 87 loans and is valued at NZ$229.1 million. Fisk and McCloy say they have received several expressions of interest in the loan book and have contacted PricewaterhouseCoopers colleagues in Australia and Asia to help identify other potential interested parties.

Strategic Finance was put in receivership by Perpetual Trust in March owing about NZ$417 million to 13,000 investors. Its chief executive was Kerry Finnigan and directors included the just departed New Zealand Rugby Union chairman Jock Hobbs, who was once the executive chairman of Strategic Finance. Separately, Hobbs announced earlier on Friday he was stepping down from his roles with the Rugby World Cup and the New Zealand Rugby Union for health reasons. He has leukemia.

"We will be running a formal sales process with indicative offers for the loan book due by mid June 2010. This will enable the receivers to assess  the level of interest in the loan book and any indicative offers against the expected realisation in the receivership," Fisk and McCloy said.

No potential recovery range for secured debenture holders would be provided while the sales process was underway as this could be commercially prejudicial to sales negotiations, they added. Separately, they said they planned a full investigation into the activities of the Strategic companies and associated parties.

"We will notify the appropriate government authorities of any potential breaches of legislation or the trust deed that come to our attention during the course of the receivership. Those authorities may take such action as they deem appropriate." If any actions are identified that could be taken directly by the receivers, these will be pursued based on an assessment of the legal position and could include court action.

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