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Cushing moves to sack St Laurence as manager of NPT

Cushing moves to sack St Laurence as manager of NPT

Disgruntled National Property Trust unitholders led by David Cushing are seeking a meeting to try and remove the Trust's manager, which is a subsidiary of failed finance company St Laurence. Cushing, son of former Brierleys executive and ex-Air New Zealand chairman Sir Selwyn, said he had the required backing of unitholders holding more than 10% of the National Property Trust's units. Cushing said under St Laurence's management, the National Property Trust had been one of the worst performing property trusts listed on the NZX for a "prolonged" period of time, the fees paid to the manager and corporate governance were "materially" out of line with current best market practice and the National Property Trust was trading at a large discount to its net asset value. "The manager has done very little to rectify this unsatisfactory situation," Cushing said. Meanwhile, in its own statement, the manager of The National Property Trust - National Property Trust Limited - noted it was not in receivership. The manager said all charges and security interests over it had been released by St Laurence's trustee Perpetual Trust and it was continuing to provide management services to the National Property Trust. "As previously advised it is “business as usual” for the National Property Trust and the manager. Perpetual Trust pulled the plug on St Laurence, which owes about 9,000 investors NZ$245 million, late last month appointing Deloitte's Barry Jordan and David Vance as receivers. See David Cushing's press release below:

Unitholders holding in excess of 10% of the units in The National Property Trust (NPT) have today formally requisitioned a meeting of unitholders relating to the removal of the Manager of NPT, The National Property Trust Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of the St Laurence group of companies. Unitholders who have put the resolutions to requisition the meeting include: H&G Limited, THT Properties Limited, Highgate Group Limited, RGH Holdings Limited, Penmaen Limited, Castlemore Investments Limited and Yoyo Nominees. David Cushing, director of H&G Limited said: “The current situation is totally unacceptable. We have been in discussions with many unitholders and there is widespread dissatisfaction with the management of NPT. We urge other unitholders to join us in voting to dismiss the Manager. “The St Laurence group of companies holds some significant parcels of units in NPT and may, through self interest, attempt to block the passing of the resolutions.  Even if St Laurence successfully blocks the extraordinary resolutions, it is our belief that if a strong majority of independent unitholders vote to remove the Manager, we expect the Trustee to apply to the court under section 19 of the Unit Trusts Act to dismiss the Manager. We urge all unitholders to vote in favour of all these resolutions as it is clearly in the best interests of unitholders to remove the Manager.”

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