21 Oct 2009

Sth Canterbury Finance chairman to step down

12:37 pm on 21 October 2009

South Canterbury Finance chairman Allan Hubbard has indicated he intends to step down within the next year.

The company issued a new prospectus to raise money on Tuesday. It says Mr Hubbard will leave the role in favour of a new independent director being appointed.

The company also says that under a restructuring plan, it will divest assets not related to its main task of lending in the next year, reducing its stakes in Dairy Holdings and South Island Farm Holdings.

It also plans to wind down its property loans and focus on the traditional business, plant and equipment, consumer and rural lending areas.

South Canterbury says it will apply to participate in the Government's extended deposit guarantee scheme, but can't offer any assurances it will get approval.

The company recently reached agreement with its US investors to repay $US100 million over the next 5 and a half months. It has a new $US75 million facility to replace the $US100 million standby facility.

But commentators say an impending capital raising will still be needed, to make sure South Canterbury has the liquidity it needs to remain solvent.