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Fortress wins with Capital + Merchant; investors lose

The Capital + Merchant Finance receivers representing its main banker are bowing out convinced Fortress Credit Corporation will be repaid in full the $23.74 million it is owed, including accrued interest.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

by Jenny Ruth

However, the Fortress receivers, Richard Simpson and Timothy Downes of Grant Thornton, expect the debenture holders’ only hope of regaining any of their $167 million is litigation.

The Fortress receivers are handing over further recoveries to the second receivers, Grant Graham and Brendon Gibson of KordaMentha, who were appointed by the trustee for the debenture holders, Perpetual Trust.

“To date, we have repaid Fortress $22.6 million. Fortress is owed a further $1.14 million, including accrued interest, as at March 21,” the Fortress receivers say.

“After accrued interest and receivership costs, we expect recoveries to be $nil for debenture holders from the assets of the company. In our view, the only recoveries for debenture holders will be from any legal claims against various parties.”

The Fortress receivers say there are two remaining loans under the Lloyds insurance policy “which we consider may be covered under the policy. In both instances, the insurers are disputing the loans are covered.”

In December last year, they said 39 of the 42 loans which were supposed to have been covered by the policy were not covered and it had notified the insurance broker’s insurance company of their claim for negligence.

A total of $1.44 million was recovered under the Lloyds insurance policy.

Three Capital + Merchant directors, Owen Tallentire, Wayne Douglas and Neal Nicholls, are set to stand trial from April 23 on charges of making misleading statements in offer documents brought by the Serious Fraud Office.

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