Ex-Hanover boss confident of defence
Former Hanover boss Mark Hotchin has broken his silence on the Financial Markets Authority legal action against him and other former figures of the failed finance company calling the civil claim taken against him "ill-conceived".
Defendants to the FMA civil action - including former managing director Hotchin, directors Tipene O'Regan, Greg Muir and Bruce Gordon, and promoters Eric Watson and Dennis Broit - filed their statement of defence in the High Court in Auckland this week.
The FMA claimed Hanover misled investors in its December 2007 prospectuses and used the document to raise $35 million from investors.
Hotchin claimed in a statement this afternoon: "The directors believe that the FMA is relying on incorrect information in a forensic accountant's report that the FMA refuses to release to the directors. This is resulting in an ill-conceived and expensive piece of litigation."
Hotchin said he was confident in his defence and expected the case, if it goes to trial, would not find him or his co-defendants liable.
Part of the statement of defence argues the FMA's action has come too late, and has missed the two-year window required by the Securities Act within which claims should be taken.
Hotchin said the FMA would be required to prove investors suffered losses on statements the watchdog alleges are untrue, and not outside influences such as the global financial crisis or the merger with Allied Farmers.
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