Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


UPDATED: Ross Asset investors want liquidation tender

UPDATED: Ross Asset investor group wants liquidation put out for tender as Dec. 10 hearing date set

(Adds details of receivers costs, memo starting in third paragraph)

By Jonathan Underhill

Nov. 26 (BusinessDesk) - A group of investors in the failed Ross Asset Management group has asked the High Court to be admitted as a party to proceedings and called for the liquidation of the companies to be put out to tender.

A tentative new date of Dec. 10 has been set for the Financial Markets Authority to update the High Court on the Ross Asset Management receivership, by which time receivers PwC is expected to have applied to liquidate the group.

At a brief hearing in the High Court at Wellington today counsel for receivers John Fisk and David Bridgman of PwC sought an order allowing them to sell property owned by the Ross Group to the extent necessary to pay their fees up until Nov. 12 of $153,683. There were insufficient liquid assets from the group’s owner David Ross. Fisk told BusinessDesk said the application to put the group into liquidation would be made this week.

Also at the court today, Bruce Tichbon, who represents more than 50 percent of investors in Ross’s group of investment companies, sought to be admitted to proceedings. Tichbon told BusinessDesk he was concerned his group wasn’t being kept in the loop.

In Tichbon’s memo to the court he also sought for any liquidation to be put out to tender with a clear brief on strategy and costs.

Members of his group had observed receiverships and liquidations “where professional fees have devoured all the money left over,” he said. The tender for liquidation should clearly state “how investors’ interests will be represented.”

The receivers’ memo said both receivers and counsel “are very conscious of costs given the overall circumstances” but the receiverships to date had been “challenging” due to David Ross’s unavailability while in hospital after three weeks of compulsory treatment under the Mental Health Act and work was needed “to verify assets, recreate cash flows and consider legal options and avenues of recovery.”

Wellington fund manager Ross, whose businesses were frozen after missing investor payments, told PwC on his release from hospital not to expect to find any assets other than the $10.2 million plus $200,000 in cash deposits initially identified by Fisk and Bridgman.

The Serious Fraud Office launched a formal investigation this week, having helped the Financial Markets Authority with its own inquiries since Oct. 25.

Ross, formerly a share broker, managed funds on behalf of 900 privately wealthy individuals, with management fees averaging $4.4 million a year paid in each of the last three years.

The PwC investigation found inadequate record-keeping and has been unable to source much of the documentary evidence for trading and investment holdings that it needs to complete a full picture of what looks to have the characteristics of a Ponzi-style scheme, where investors were paid out at least in part using other investors’ funds.

It suspects many or most of the trading history disclosed to clients was “fictitious.”

The Ross group’s database purports to show investments worth $449.6 million, of which $152.4 million is said to be held in Australian investments, another $136.1 million in Canada, some $156.4 million in the US, $3.8 million in New Zealand, and $943,332 elsewhere. Of this, some $437.6 million was held by a Ross group subsidiary, Bevis Marks.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Must Sell 20 Petrol Stations: Z Cleared To Buy Caltex Assets

Z Energy is allowed to buy the Caltex and Challenge! petrol station chains but must sell 19 of its retail sites and one truck-stop, the Commerce Commission has ruled in a split decision that acknowledges possible retail price coordination between fuel retailers occurs in some regions. More>>

ALSO:

Huntly: Genesis Extends Life Of Coal-Fuelled Power Station To 2022

Genesis Energy will keep its two coal and gas-fired units at Huntly Power Station operating until 2022, having previously said they'd be closed by 2018, after wringing a high price from other electricity generators who wanted to keep them as back-up. More>>

ALSO:

Dammed If You Do: Ruataniwha Irrigation Scheme Hits Farmer Uptake Targets

Enough Hawke's Bay farmers have signed up for water from the proposed Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme for it to go ahead as long as a cornerstone institutional capital investor can be found to back it, its regional council promoter announced. More>>

ALSO:

Reserve Bank: OCR Stays At 2.25%

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 2.25 percent, in a decision traders had said could go either way, while predicting inflation will pick up as the slump in oil prices washes out of the data and capacity pressures start to build in the economy. More>>

ALSO:

Export Values Down: NZ Posts Biggest Annual Trade Deficit In 7 Years

New Zealand has recorded its biggest annual trade deficit since April 2009, reflecting weaker prices of agricultural commodities such as dairy products, beef and lamb, and increased imports of vehicles and machinery. More>>

ALSO:

Currency Events: NZ's New $5 Note Wins International Banknote Award

New Zealand’s new Brighter Money $5 note has been named Banknote of the Year in a prestigious international competition. The $5 note was awarded the IBNS Banknote of the Year title at the International Bank Note Society’s annual meeting. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news