Hotchin and Watson in iced tea firm

Mark Hotchin and Eric Watson.
Mark Hotchin and Eric Watson.

A trustee firm associated with Mark Hotchin now holds shares in an American drinks company alongside his former Hanover co-owner Eric Watson.

Long Island Iced Tea Corp makes non-alcoholic iced tea and is based in Hicksville, New York.

The company, which trades on the Over-The-Counter Bulletin Board, came about as a result of a merger last year between a Watson dairy venture and Long Island Brand Beverages.

According to Long Island Ice Tea Corp filings with the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission, KA No.2 Trustee - a trustee company associated with Hotchin - now has more than ten per cent of the business' shares.

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American regulations require certain companies to disclose its officers, directors and the stockholders that own more than 10 per cent.

KA No.2 Trustee and Watson are both included in the list of Long Island Iced Corp's officer holders and owners. Watson is not on the business' board.

Hotchin and Watson were co-owners of the Hanover group of companies.

About 16,000 people with investments totalling more than $500 million lost most of their money after the failure of Hanover and related companies, and the sale of assets to Allied Farmers.

Hotchin, Watson and four others were targeted by the FMA in a claim that alleged certain Hanover offer documents contained untrue statements about the financial position of the companies.

The case never saw a courtroom and settled last year for $18 million.

Watson, a former director of Hanover Group but not of the companies that accepted investor funds, was not required to contribute to the $18 million payment like the five others in the deal.

The FMA, at the time, would not comment on why this was.

Watson nor Hotchin could not be reached for comment.

Former Lion Nathan boss Julian Davidson has been a consultant to Long Island Ice Tea Corp for the last eight months and said ice tea was a $5.3 billion market in the United States.

"It's been growing at 10 per cent per annum for the last five years and it's forecast to do the same for next five years. It's just a category that's got incredible growth. And it's likely that growth will see similar sorts of levels in Australia and New Zealand," Davidson said.

- NZ Herald

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