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SCF receivers say too early to estimate government losses in South Canterbury Finance

SCF receivers say too early to estimate government losses in South Canterbury Finance

The receivers of South Canterbury Finance have released their first reports on the failed financier and 13 of its subsidiaries, but say it is still too early to assess the likely repayment outcome for the government.

The report from McGrathNicol's Kerryn Downey and William Black said when South Canterbury Finance was placed in receivership on August 31, it had NZ$446.3 million in impairment provisions.

The company had total assets of NZ$1.391 billion and total liabilities of NZ$1.706 billion, leaving it with net liabilities of NZ$315 million.

The receivers released 14 separate reports on SCF and its subsidiaries (see list below).

ASB's NZ$10 million loan on Belfast Park

The receivers' report on Belfast Park, a large residential and commercial development in Christchurch owned 99.9% by SCF, shows secured creditor ASB was owed NZ$10.1 million on the project at time of receivership. SCF had loaned NZ$14.3 million. Belfast Park had total assets of NZ$22.7 million, but total liabilities of NZ$24.6 million, leaving it with net liabilities of NZ$1.9 million, the report says.

Here is the press release from the receivers:

The first statutory report from the receivers of South Canterbury Finance Limited was released today for public consumption.

Kerryn Downey and William Black of McGrathNicol were appointed receivers and managers of South Canterbury Finance (SCF) and its charging subsidiaries on 31 August 2010 by Trustees Executors Limited. The action was in response to a request to appoint a receiver by the directors of SCF.

The receivers emphasise that all figures in this first report rely on information provided by SCF which has not been independently verified or audited.  There are 14 reports comprising SCF and its 13 subsidiaries. (Full list attached).

As receivers, they say, their initial focus was to stabilise the business and operations, including retaining the management team and all staff, and continuing all branch operations in order to preserve value for all stakeholders.

The receivers are also focused on maintaining ongoing trading and, in that regard, the SCF Group has recommenced lending to approved customers.

SCF will continue to actively manage defaulting borrowers, in line with usual business practice for a finance company. This is important to ensure that value to the ultimate creditors of SCF is preserved and may well include appointing receivers or sale of the underlying assets securing the lending, if circumstances mean that is the most appropriate course of action.  

McGrathNicol’s Kerryn Downey said that the receivers are well advanced in developing appropriate strategies for preserving and protecting the value of investments and ultimately selling them.

Goldman Sachs & Partners New Zealand has been appointed for the sale of SCF’s 100% shareholding in Helicopters (N.Z.) and SCF’s majority shareholding in Scales Corporation Limited, which have leading positions within their respective industries and are not themselves in receivership.

Deutsche Bank AG New Zealand has been retained to advise on the sale of the core SCF finance business which has been separated into good bank and asset management (bad bank) units. This process could take up to five to six months.

The receivers reported that the company’s records show SCF’s major asset – its loan book – comprises net advances of $1.1 billion, after impairment provisions, at the date of receivership.

Among preferential creditors of SCF are employee claims of $901,000 and IRD claims totalling $5.6 million. The receivers expect preferential creditors to be paid in full.

SCF bond and debenture holders covered by the Government’s Guarantee Scheme were paid

$1.6 billion and prior chargeholders received $109 million - the major payment to Torchlight Security Trustee Limited.

The South Canterbury Finance receivership is the largest and one of the most complex in New Zealand’s history. It is also the only finance company in receivership where the company and its 13 subsidiaries have continued to trade.

Although the receivers say that at this stage it is too early to assess the likely outcome for unsecured creditors, preference shareholders or ordinary shareholders they say that the second phase of the unwinding and sale and realisation of assets is proceeding at a responsible pace to deliver the optimal outcome for the Crown and other creditors.

The next statutory report will be released in the first quarter of 2011.

Charging Group Entities (collectively “the SCF Group”)

South Canterbury Finance Limited (In Receivership)

Belfast Park Limited (In Receivership) 

Braebrook Properties Limited (In Receivership) 

Face Finance Limited (In Receivership)

Fairfield Finance Limited (In Receivership) 

Flexi Lease Limited (In Receivership) 

Galway Park Limited (In Receivership)

Helicopter Nominees Limited (In Receivership)

Hornchurch Limited (In Receivership)

Rental Cars Limited (In Receivership)

SCFG Systems Limited (In Receivership)

Sophia Investments Limited (In Receivership)

Southbury Insurance Limited (In Receivership) 

Tyrone Estates Limited (In Receivership)

(Update adds ASB loan on Belfast Park.) 

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Heading should read:

SCF receivers say too early to estimate taxpayer losses in South Canterbury Finance 

Belfast Park (which owns the former Freezing Works site) would barely be worth the ASB mortgage value.

Even if rezone does get approved for Tyrone Estates' and Belfast Park's land the total value would scarcely be $20-30m on a very very sunny day in today's market IF a buyer could be found.  Remember this is hardly desirable real estate - located next to heavy industrial (a tannery still operates), a railway line and a proposed motorway.  10 sections in Tyrone Estates' Larne Pl development remain unsold priced at just $125-150,000.

The likely result here is that the receiver will sell "as is" (since the development hasn't remotely started) and barely cover the first mortgages.  Perhaps a lucky buyer will then eventually make a profit like Robin Hughes who picked up the scraps from Applefields' mortgagees for $13m to develop nearby Northwood in ChCh 10 years ago.

Looking at the property assets of the other companies is sobering reading:

Braebrook owns a few regional South Canterbury sections of little value and a large industrial property.

Hornchurch owns SCF's Timaru offices (worth a lot less than their $2.5m GV - try under half) a Hamilton commercial property and an Ashburton one too.

Galway Park owns 60 odd Ruakaka and Tirohanga sections and a few small bits of the fomer SouthPower yard in St Albans Christchurch.  (They used to own the Dunedin Chief Post Office which I expected earned them a substantial loss when it was sold earlier this year).

In all I hope that SCF's mortgages have better security than the type of assets that these SCF Group companies own.


Great detail Chris_J





As per an article in NZ Herald


The Reserve Bank was worried that South Canterbury Finance (SCF) related party transactions potentially breached the Crown retail deposit guarantee scheme as long ago as April 1, 2009.

Why no action was taken to terminate the guarantee or take over the management of the company an year earlier ?