Full payout for Aorangi victims

MATTHEW LITTLEWOOD
Last updated 05:00 22/02/2014

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The statutory managers of Aorangi Securities have promised full payment of 100 cents in the dollar back to investors - but have ruled out any interest on top of this.

The announcement has disheartened an investor, who has criticised the latest report.

Grant Thornton issued its 15th report on Aorangi Securities yesterday.

According to the report, the most recent payment to the investors, of $11.58 million in December, brought the total amount paid back to about $88m.

About 400 investors put $96m into Aorangi, Allan and Jean Hubbard's private investment company. It was placed in statutory management by the Government in June 2010.

Mr Hubbard died in a car crash on September 2, 2011.

"The statutory managers expect to repay the Aorangi investors most, if not all, of their capital without undertaking ‘fire sales'," the report says.

The statutory managers had made "realisations" in the past six months on several investments and loans, including the settlement of a significant investment in a group of Mid and South Canterbury dairy farms, it says.

Aorangi investor Noel Macpherson, of Fairlie, said the report was a "spin job".

"The money is there ... I don't know why they're waiting to pay us out the full amount. It's been nearly four years, and a lot of hardship for 400, mainly elderly, investors," he said.

"The report tells us nothing they haven't told us before."

Mr Macpherson was also disappointed the report said the statutory managers would not make any funds available from Aorangi to pay the investors' interest.

"Considering how much the statutory managers have been paid in this time, this seems grossly unfair," he said.

According to the latest report, the professional fees charged by Grant Thornton since it was appointed as statutory managers totalled more than $11.5m.

Mrs Hubbard and the Hubbard estate had initially contested Aorangi's ownership of $60m worth of assets, but this action was resolved out of court and will allow Aorangi investors to get close to 100 cents in the dollar back.

"Since the amicable settlement ... 77 cents in the dollar has been distributed to investors, taking the total to 92 cents," the report says.

"If the court case had proceeded and been lost, Aorangi investors would have only received an estimated return of 35 cents in the dollar."

The next report from the statutory managers is expected to be issued in July.

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- The Timaru Herald

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