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TOWER Trust moves to protect bondholders

TOWER Trust moves to protect Ballantyne bondholders after attempts to arrange rescue package fail

TOWER Trust yesterday appointed Grant Graham and Brendon Gibson, of Auckland accounting firm Ferrier Hodgson, as Receivers of the Ballantyne Group companies which are involved in the development of The Ballantyne Golf and Retirement Resort at Katikati, near Tauranga.

The appointment has been made in the interests of bondholders following the collapse of the last of several rescue packages that the Ballantyne Group companies have been endeavouring to arrange. The developers involved in the original rescue arrangements, which supported a proposal agreed to by bondholders on 19 April last, announced late last month, they had withdrawn from it.

TOWER Trust’s General Manager, New Zealand, Glenn Clark said today:
“The appointment of the Receivers will ensure the orderly sale of the Resort in the best interests of bondholders. The Ballantyne bonds, which are supported by first mortgage securities over the Resort, fell due for repayment on 30 September last year and we have been working continuously since before that date to maximise the amount of money able to be repaid to bondholders.”

Mr Clark said TOWER Trust was writing to each of the 600 bondholders to give them further details of the situation.

The completed Resort would have comprised some 150 residential sections, an 18-hole championship golf course and clubhouse, sports facilities and a health and fitness centre. At this stage the golf course and clubhouse have been completed and are in full operation. As well part of the residential development has also been completed.

Speaking on behalf of the Receivers, Mr. Graham said:
“It is too early to make any predictions on the outcome of the Receivership or of the likely approach we will take to the sale of the Resort. For the meantime the golf course and clubhouse will continue in operation and we will be working closely with the Resort’s staff to ensure the facilities are maintained to a good standard.”


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