Allied Farmers warned over loan

TIM HUNTER
Last updated 13:51 11/02/2013
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The future of rural services minnow Allied Farmers looks to be in the hands of the government after it was hit by a final demand to pay a loan bill.

In a stock exchange announcement Allied said it had been warned a lender would today serve a statutory demand on it for $500,000 plus interest, payable within 15 working days.

Allied, poleaxed by its disastrous acquisition of assets from failed lender Hanover Finance in late 2009, said it could not pay without the support of its secured lender, "who at this stage has not indicated its position".

Allied's secured lender is government-owned company Crown Asset Management, which is managing the residual assets of several failed finance companies including those of Allied subsidiary Allied Nationwide Finance.

The $500,000 was due to have been paid from the proceeds of a $3.75 million asset sale in November, but that deal did not settle and Allied has been discussing an extension.

In the statement, Allied said it was "very surprised by the action of the lender given that ALF has been working co-operatively with the lender on a sensible time line for repayment, and given that ALF has a first-ranking secured lender."

Allied chairman Gary Bluett declined to say who had made the $500,000 demand.

"I haven't seen the final version of that [statement] so I'm not prepared to comment on that at the moment," he said.

There were confidentiality clauses and agreements covering the loan "and I'm not prepared to break that".

Allied's annual report for the year to June 2012 noted a trade payable of $500,000 owing to Hanover Finance, secured over a specific loan asset.

The debt relates to a settlement reached between Allied and Hanover in September 2011, covering a disputed $5m Hanover said it was due from the transfer of its loan book.

However, it is not clear whether the party demanding $500,000 is Hanover.

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