Mixed news as $43m is unfrozen

By PATRICK O'SULLIVAN - Business Editor


More than $43 million of investors' money in Midlands Mortgage Trust Group Investment Fund has been unfrozen but investors must accept a 10 per cent downgrade in the value of the unit fund if they choose to make an immediate withdrawal.

They were told the fund units were now worth 90 cents each and have been sent withdrawal forms.

The fund was frozen for 90 business days in October after commercial property loans, including to now-bankrupt Wellington property developer Terry Serepisos, fell into default.

Investors were told that directors aimed to "protect as best as possible the capital investment made by investors in the fund and to continue to try to pay to investors a competitive rate of return".

In the January newsletter, investors were told the freeze would continue until a revised unit price was worked out and that the fund needed "time to heal".

In lieu of a dividend for the last quarter, investors received a capital repayment of one cent per unit.

Midlands was established in 2004 by the nominee mortgage companies of three law firms: DAC Legal in Waipukurau, Bramwell Grossman in Hastings and Halliwells in Hawera.

The DAC nominee company was separately owed more than $2 million by Serepisos.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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