Business Editor for the NZ Herald

Aorangi investors get $4.8 million payout

Allan Hubbard in 2010. Photo / The Listener
Allan Hubbard in 2010. Photo / The Listener

Investors in two of Allan Hubbard's frozen businesses are getting another payout, their statutory managers said today.

Four hundred Aorangi Securities investors are set to get another 5c in the dollar, a payout of about $4.8 million. It is the first since the statutory managers reached a settlement with the late Timaru financier's widow.

In total, investors have received $19.3 million of the $96 million they are owed - about 20 cents in the dollar.

Aorangi's statutory managers said today another payout could happen before the end of next month.

"Scheduled farm settlements occurring at the end of May and early June should allow a further distribution to be made by the end of June 2013," said the statutory managers, Graeme McGlinn, Richard Simpson and Trevor Thornton.

Aorangi Securities was placed in statutory management in 2010 after an investor complained to the Securities Commission that they had not received a prospectus or investment statement.

The commission believed Aorangi, which was originally a contributory mortgage company, had been operating as a finance company. Many loans were inadequately documented and some appeared to have been made contrary to investors' instructions.

Further payouts to investors, some of whom are elderly or in financial hardship, hinged on a High Court dispute between the statutory managers and Jean Hubbard (Allan Hubbard's widow) over $60 million of assets.

The outcome of this stoush, which was due to be heard in Timaru this month, would have decided whether investors received a third of their money or nearly all of it back.

But the parties appear to have reached an 11th hour settlement and the hearing did not go ahead and the statutory managers say investors should get most, if not all, of their capital back.

A further payout for some investors from Hubbard Management Funds - another of the late businessman's frozen investment vehicles - was also announced today.

Investors who are eligible for a payout will get another $3.2 million, the statutory managers said.

HMF's existence was only discovered after the statutory managers had begun investigating Aorangi. An initial report in 2010 said Allan Hubbard made all or most of the investment decisions for the company, including what rate of management fee to charge investors.

HMF has around 300 investors, who believed the fund was worth a total of $89 million. But last year HMF was only valued at $43 million and some investors were unsure about what would be returned to them.

In February the statutory managers said all investors would get their capital back but that some people who took more money out of HMF than they originally put in, will not receive any more payments.

Today's repayment - the third that has been made - brings the total return (for eligible investors) to about 40c in the dollar.

"This 15 cent in the dollar payment follows the sale of further investments in HMF. We continue to realise the more liquid investments in HMF in addition to investments with a more limited market demand for their full value, for the return to investors," said the statutory managers.

"We are now in the process of progressively realising the remaining HMF investments. However, these are now mostly unlisted or low liquidity assets which will be more difficult to realise quickly for good value.

Our investment sales programme is designed to ensure that we obtain full value of these investments for investors. Future payments will be made as and when we realise sufficient investments to do so".

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