Pyne Gould's NZX suspension lifted after first-half results filed

Before the October suspension, the company's shares last traded at 24.5 cents, valuing the firm at $50.8 million.
Before the October suspension, the company's shares last traded at 24.5 cents, valuing the firm at $50.8 million.

Pyne Gould Corp shares are allowed to trade again, ending a seven-month suspension, after the asset manager controlled by George Kerr filed its first-half results.

The Guernsey-based long-term investor's portfolio held net assets worth 50.81 million British pounds, or 23.49 pence per share, as at December 31, down from 55.1 million pounds, or 26.61 pence, a year earlier, it said in a statement. Pyne Gould reported a net loss of 1.5 million pounds in the six months ended December 31 from a loss of $5.3 million pounds a year earlier, due to foreign exchange losses.

The first-half accounts follow last month's filing of the firm's long-delayed 2015 annual report, which was held up because of a change of auditors, followed by needing to consolidate its Torchlight Fund LP unit into its accounts.

That delay meant Pyne Gould missed NZX's deadline to file its 2015 accounts, resulting in the suspension of trading in its shares, the second year in a row it was censured, and while the annual report was filed last month, the halt stayed in place because the first half results were overdue.

Before the October suspension, the company's shares last traded at 24.5 cents, valuing the firm at $50.8 million.

Today's results show Pyne Gould lifted its cash balance by 20.6 million pounds to 31.6 million pounds, due to strong property sales in Victoria for its 100 per cent owned developer RCL, and the sale of Local World to Trinity Mirror, at four times the firm's initial investment.

Pyne Gould's current liabilities more than doubled to 56.5 million pounds, of which 11.2 million pounds was bank debt and 41.1 million pounds was a third party corporate debt facility.

"This marks the end of the restructuring period of RCL and means RCL has the financial capacity to internally fund working capital and consider both internal and external funding options for growth," Pyne Gould said. "This allows greater reinvestment in the land bank and consequently greater long-run value for investors."

The latest accounts disclose contingent liabilities relating to several legal disputes, with an application to wind up the Torchlight fund in the Cayman Islands, a disputed penalty fee on a A$37 million loan from Australian businessman John Grill, and claims over Pyne Gould's sale of Perpetual Trust to Bath Street Capital.

- BusinessDesk

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