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Insured Group offering only part payment to St. George

Insured Group offering only part payment to St. George Bank as prospectus pulled again

By Jonathan Underhill

Aug. 10 (BusinessDesk) - Insured Group, the Australian insurer which used Lombard Group for a backdoor listing on the NZX, has pulled its prospectus for ASX listing for the second time this year after announcing it will only make a part payment on A$3 million due to St. George Bank on Sept. 30.

The company “remains in discussions” with the lender, on the expectation St George will extend terms, Perthy-based Insured Group said in a statement today.

It was intending to raise A$2.25 million in Australia, which it had hoped would lift its equity enough to satisfy the requirements for an ASX listing and it would delist from the NZX.

Today it said the Australian Securities & Investments Commission held up the prospectus and after questioning by the regulator the company concluded “that the nature of certain prospective transactions (was) too uncertain to enable to company to succinctly address the matters raised.”

“The company has formally withdrawn its application at this time to seek quotation on the Australian Securities Exchange,” it said in a statement from managing director Wayne Miller, whose hospitalisation yesterday was cited as a reason for the delay in the announcement.

It is the second time this year that ASIC has blocked Insured Group’s prospectus. The original version was lodged in May then withdrawn. A new prospectus was lodged on July 23 but again has failed to satisfy ASIC.

Australia’s St. George Bank is Insured Group’s financier and biggest creditor and the payment due by the end of next month may be another test for the company.

“At present no terms exist to extend the facility beyond that date but extensions have been provided in the past as part of the company’s continued reduction in the facility amount,” Insured Group said.

The shares were lifted from a trading halt in New Zealand though they haven’t traded today. They were last at 4 cents and have jumped 100 percent on the NZX this year.

The funds raised were also meant to repay debt.

“The money would have been used to reduce general loan facilities, but in the absence of this fundraising the board considers that the company remains solvent,” it said.


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