11 Nov 2008

Restructuring plan to be put to investors by St Laurence

7:34 am on 11 November 2008

St Laurence aims to repay 70% of the money owed to debenture holders over the next five years under a proposed restructuring plan.

The company owes $250 million to about 9000 investors, who will vote on the plan next month.

Its trustee, Perpetual, has approved the proposal.

The company intends to keep trading and to eventually repay investors all their money plus interest but it's unsure when that will be because of the current state of financial markets.

Under the deal, investors will be asked to accept an 8% interest rate return, with outstanding interest paid after the vote. Capital repayments would resume from 1 April next year.

If the deal gets the 75% support needed to proceed, St Laurence's parent company, Auguste Finance will inject $10 million worth of property as new capital.

Auguste and others will also provide of a guarantee of up to $20 million that would be available under certain circumstances.

St Laurence is the first of a number of finance companies to seek investor approval to restructure their repayments. Dorchester Pacific, Strategic Finance and Hanover are expected to do soon.