Hanover Finance trial a year away

MATT NIPPERT
Last updated 13:03 09/07/2014

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The long-awaited case against the directors and promoters of Hanover Finance finally has a court date, albeit seven years after the finance company failed.

In an update the Financial Markets Authority, which filed the civil proceedings, said a 12-week hearing had been scheduled to start in the High Court in Auckland on July 20 next year.

The FMA says Mark Hotchin, Gregory Muir, Sir Tipene O'Regan, Bruce Gordon, Eric Watson and Dennis Broit made untrue statements in prospectuses and advertisements.

The action is being defended. The Hanover directors and promoters have insisted their actions were above board and the company's problems were attributable to the global financial crisis.

Court jousting this year revealed the defendants and the FMA were engaged in settlement talks.

The hearing, if it proceeds, will start seven years after Hanover went into moratorium in 2008, freezing $554 million of investor funds.

Most of this sum was lost after a disastrous merger of the ailing company with Allied Farmers.

The FMA filed the civil claim in March 2012, after gaining freezing orders in December 2010 against several assets owned by Hotchin.

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