Hubbard investors to start seeing some money

Investors in the troubled Hubbard Management Fund - holding around $40 million in assets - will this month start receiving some payments on their capital, the fund's statutory managers Grant Thornton said yesterday.

''The news of a forthcoming payout is positive for most of the 300 investors and will come as a welcome relief,'' Grant Thornton said.

''We will immediately commence the implementation of the [High] Court's directions.''

Hubbard Management Fund (HMF), once valued by deceased millionaire financier Allan Hubbard at $83 million, has had its fair value of identified assets set at about $40 million by Grant Thornton, which has in the past rejected investors' claims it was to blame for the decline in value.

Grant Thornton said the lack of any legal appeal, which lapsed as of January 23, had cleared the way for distributions to HMF investors''We've been working hard to get to the point where money can finally flow to investors,'' Grant Thornton said.

It was not stated yesterday how much would be released. Following requests for information by the ODT in December, Grant Thornton estimated then that investors would get back about 50c on the dollar, but stressed there was no guarantee of that level of payment for each individual.

While investor payments so far totalled about $12 million, equating to about 13.4c in the dollar, some investors might not be entitled to further payments.

Grant Thornton yesterday said about 70 investors were ''unlikely to be entitled to any further payment'' as the interim distribution they received in March 2012 exceeded their entitlement under the final distribution order calculation; which came from a High Court hearing.

It has been established those already having received payments will not have any money ''clawed back''.

''In the coming weeks, we will be writing to investors to advise the date and level of the first repayment from the capital return pool,'' Grant Thornton said.

The HMF fund was frozen in 2010 just weeks before South Canterbury Finance began unravelling. The latter triggered a government bail-out of $1.75 billion, while the funds in HMF, and also the separate Aorangi Securities and its $60 million of disputed assets, were not covered by the government guarantee.

- simon.hartley@odt.co.nz

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