8 Dec 2009

Allied Farmers shareholders to vote Hanover deal

5:58 am on 8 December 2009

A second rescue deal for the troubled finance company Hanover will face its first hurdle on Tuesday morning, when Allied Farmers shareholders vote on the proposal.

Allied Farmers is offering an estimated $400 million to buy all of Hanover's outstanding loans and those of its subsidiary United Finance in exchange for shares.

Hanover's already warned its 16,500 thousand investors are likely to only get 70% of the $554 million they are owed due to the deterioration in the property market.

Co-owner Mark Hotchin is fronting at a series of nine investor briefings to explain why the deal by Allied Farmers' is the best, and only, option on the table.

B ad loans account for about 80% of Hanover's loan book.

Allied Farmers chair John Loughlin says the company has weathered the crisis that claimed many other finance companies, and it's had a lot of experience tackling bad loans.

As part of the rescue package, recoverable loans will be transferred to the finance arm of Allied Farmers, Allied Nationwide Finance, and the bad loans will be put into a new unit.

Mr Loughlin says the bad debt unit is likely to be staffed with a mixture of Allied Farmers personnel, others from the industry, and some Hanover Finance staff, as they have knowledge about how the loans were made, and what mistakes were made.

If the deal's approved by Allied Farmers shareholders on Tuesday and then Hanover investors on 16 December, the company will have $10 million to close its offices, make staff redundant, resolve an outstanding tax issue and possibly conclude some litigation.