BusinessDesk: NZF Money receiver KordaMentha files legal proceedings against parent NZF Group, seeking to freeze assets

BusinessDesk: NZF Money receiver KordaMentha files legal proceedings against parent NZF Group, seeking to freeze assets

NZF Money's receiver will file proceedings against parent company NZF Group and its directors over the restructuring of its home loans unit in 2010 and are looking to freeze the firm’s assets.

Receivers for failed lender NZF Money Grant Graham and Brendon Gibson of KordaMentha will file proceedings against the company and directors as at Oct. 20 2010, NZF Group said in a statement. The directors at the time were Richard Waddel, John Callaghan, Mark Thornton, Peter Huljich and Pat Redpath O’Connor. The receivers have also applied to freeze NZF Group’s assets, though a hearing date hasn’t been set.

The company said it will “rigorously defend” the proceedings, which “relate to an internal restructuring of NZF Homeloans Limited in October 2010 which is alleged to be an insolvent transaction.” That was just after the parent completed its $100 million securitisation programme, from which it planned to fund lending as borrowing from the public became increasingly difficult for finance companies.

That home loans unit is currently the target of Duncan Saville’s Australian Resimac group, which is in the final phase of taking a majority stake as part of a recapitalisation of NZF Group.

Shares in NZF Group were initially halted pending the release, and haven’t changed from 0.6 cents apiece since they resumed trading. The stock has tumbled 80 percent this year.

Last month, the Serious Fraud Office opened an investigation into a range of transactions between members of NZF, its directors and officers from July 2006 to the present.

NZF Group has also had to contend with a claim it breached the terms of its Mike Pero Mortgages joint venture, with partner Liberty Financial lodging High Court proceedings in February. NZF said at the time it plans to vigorously defend all claims.

NZF has said it has no knowledge of related party transactions that could be subject to the SFO investigation.

Correction: (Removes Jeffrey Barkwill from directors named in 2nd graph. He resigned in September 2010)

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