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Orange Finance moratorium ends in receivership

Orange Finance moratorium ends in receivership, trustee confident recovery will top 80%

By Paul McBeth

Aug 2 (BusinessDesk) - Orange Finance, the lender owned by Doug Somers-Edgar and managed by his Matrix Funding Group, has been sent to receivers after its three-and-a-half year moratorium on interest payments drew to a close with 72 cents in the dollar of principal repaid.

Covenant Trustee Co appointed Brendon Gibson and Grant Graham of KordaMentha to squeeze any remaining value out of Orange's loan book yesterday, according to Companies Office documents. The finance company previously indicated receivership was pending when the deferred repayment plan ended on July 31.

Covenant managing director Graham Miller told BusinessDesk that achieving repayments of 72 cents was "outstanding for any of the mortgage-based finance companies" that used moratoria arrangements when the market soured.

"We're optimistic it will go above 80 cents (in the dollar) before this is done," he said.

Orange froze repayments to some 2,500 investors owed $25.6 million in late 2008 before convincing debenture holders to agree to a moratorium on redemptions and interest payments until the end of July 2011. That deadline was later pushed out another year with trustee Covenant's approval.

As at its March 31 balance date, the lender had repaid $12.7 million and reduced its liability by $2.4 million in a debt restructure. It repaid a further $1 million in April.

Orange's carrying value of loans and advances was $6.2 million at the end of its financial year, with 80 percent concentrated in hotel and residential property.


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