15 Mar 2010

Investors denied vote on bailout - Strategic Finance

6:06 pm on 15 March 2010

Failed finance firm Strategic Finance says its trustee should have let investors vote on least two bailout plans that may have seen them get all their money back.

The company was placed in receivership on Friday, with Perpetual Trust appointing John Fisk and Colin McCloy of PricewaterhouseCoopers' as receivers.

Strategic, which owes $417 million to about 13,000 investors, says it received six offers for parts or all of its assets.

It says at least two proposals could have resulted in investors getting an immediate cash payment, ongoing income and the likelihood of being repaid in full.

However, Mr Fisk says the offers were inferior to receivership.

"None of the offers actually priced the company at that level of 90 cents, and so under any scenario we believe that the loan book will less that 100c in the dollar - whether that's someone else collecting the loans, or whether it's a receiver."

There had been speculation of an Allied Farmers-Hanover type equity for debt swap between Strategic Finance and South Canterbury Finance.

Mr Fisk says he expects to talk to parties interested in buying Strategic Finance's assets in the future, but his first task is to assess the loan book.