HMF investors to repay distributions

Allan Hubbard.
Allan Hubbard.
Fifty investors in Hubbard Management Funds will have to repay more than $3 million of distributions made in March after a High Court decision.

A reaction by an investor to the Otago Daily Times yesterday was brief.

"Good luck with that," he said.

Among some of the problems seen in repaying the money was whether it had been used to repay other debts, such as bank loans and overdrafts. It could also have been reinvested into other funds or used as discretionary income.

Grant Thornton, the statutory managers of Hubbard Management Funds (HMF), said it had received direction on how to allocate the fund, worth about $44 million, to investors.

The court's decision was to accept a model submitted by Jean Hubbard, the widow of the late Alan Hubbard.

Additional work needed to make the required calculations was being undertaken.

The court directed that cash invested less any cash withdrawals was the first call on the fund. Any remaining assets were to be distributed as return on each investor's position, reflecting the returns of each year.

"This ignores the returns and capital growth that were shown on the statements provided to investors by Mr Hubbard," the managers said.

The interim distributions were made following directions from the court earlier this year.

"Our role is to seek court approval for key decisions, then implement those decisions. As a result, we do not intend to appeal."

Work had already started to implement the court's directions but the managers warned it would take weeks.

The managers would write to each investor to set out their understanding of their cash contributions and withdrawals.

Investors could review that against their own records and advise of any errors.

"We cannot undertake any distributions until we have completed the verification process."

In the 11th statutory managers' report, Grant Thornton said the court decision would have a significant impact on the determination of the amounts due for many investors when compared with the balance on the March 31, 2010 statements.

The investors most affected would be those who had had significant gains recorded on their statements and who had also withdrawn more funds from HMF than they had put in.

The decision might be appealed by some investors, the statutory managers said. If so, any distributions would be delayed.

A review of HMF's investments showed the Ebos Group was up 9.94% in the three months ended May with strong institutional take-up of the Stewart Family stake, Mainfreight was up 33%, Ryman Healthcare was up 15% on record earnings, Mercer Group was up 69.2% on light volume and an announcement of exclusive rights to Wilsonart, Smartpay was up 33.92% on news of restructure, recapitalisation and new management, and Olympus Pacific Minerals was down 30.34% on lower gold price and risk appetite.

Total costs incurred in the statutory management of HMF from June 2010 to May 2012 have reached $4.57 million, with Grant Thornton receiving $1.89 million and legal costs reaching nearly $1.3 million. Third-party disbursements make up $821,000 and GST comprises $577,000.

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