Hanover in settlement talks

MATT NIPPERT
Last updated 14:21 10/02/2014
Eric Watson
Jason Oxenham
Eric Watson.
One of the owners of failed Hanover Finance, Mark Hotchin
Fairfax NZ
Mark Hotchin.

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The former directors of Hanover Finance are engaged in settlement discussions, the High Court at Auckland has heard.

A stoush between the former Hanover directors and promoters Mark Hotchin, Gregory Muir, Sir Tipene O'Regan, Bruce Gordon, Eric Watson and Dennis Broit and their insurance broker Apex General was this morning adjourned in order for settlement discussions to take place.

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has filed a civil claim against the six, alleging investors in Hanover were misled by the company's advertisements and prospectuses.

The six have signalled they will defend the action, and also filed claims first against insurer AIG, and then later their broker Apex, when their claim to cover legal costs to defend the FMA claim was rejected.

The FMA said in a statement it was not prepared to comment on settlement discussions as the matter was currently before the Courts.

Last year, the Serious Fraud Office decided not to pursue criminal charges over the failure of Hanover Finance after a 32-month investigation.

The companies, owned by Hotchin and Watson, collapsed in July 2008 owing 13,000 investors $554 million.

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