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Statement Re Adjournment Of FMA’s IPO Proceeding Against CBLC, Peter Harris, Alistair Hutchison & Carden Mulholland

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) – Te Mana Tātai Hokohoko – acknowledges the High Court’s decision to adjourn the trial for the FMA’s Initial Public Offer (IPO) proceeding against CBLC (in liquidation), its managing director Peter Harris, director Alistair Hutchison [1], and chief financial officer Carden Mulholland. The IPO proceeding was set down to be heard at the same time as the FMA’s Continuous Disclosure proceeding, starting 25 June 2024. The IPO proceeding has been adjourned until April 2026.

Mr Harris and Mr Mulholland made an application to the High Court to adjourn the IPO proceeding until the conclusion of the Serious Fraud Office’s (SFO) appeal of Justice Robinson’s judgment, and any subsequent retrial if ordered by the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal recently granted the SFO leave to appeal the acquittals of Mr Harris and Mr Mulholland on two charges. The FMA opposed the application.

On 5 June 2024, Justice Gault granted the application adjourning the trial of the IPO proceeding, saying: “the balance and the interests of justice favour granting an adjournment to avoid the risk of prejudice to Mr Mulholland and Mr Harris pending a possible criminal retrial. This outweighs the FMA’s interests, including that of avoiding delay at the expense of open justice.”

The FMA’s Continuous Disclosure proceeding against Mr Mulholland is not impacted by the adjournment of the IPO Proceeding and is scheduled to start on 25 June 2024. The FMA has reached in court resolutions with all defendants (other that Mr Hutchison [2]) to the Continuous Disclosure proceeding.

[1] Mr Hutchison died in December 2021 but the IPO proceeding continues against the executor of his estate. The executor of Mr Hutchison’s estate has applied for the claim against the estate to be struck out. A decision on that application is pending.

[2] The FMA discontinued its claim in the Continuous Disclosure proceeding against the estate of Mr Hutchison.

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