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Bermuda-based Richina Pacific in provisional liquidation, gives registrar financials

Wednesday 4th December 2013

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Richina Pacific, the parent of failed construction firm Mainzeal Property & Construction, is in provisional liquidation since quitting the NZX five years ago, and has handed over its financial statements to the Companies Registrar for the financial years leading up to its demise.

The registrar was looking into the financial reporting obligations the Mainzeal and Richina group of companies, which were murky due to various amalgamations and restructures leading up to its ultimate collapse on earlier this year.

The registrar decided the only entity in the group obliged to file financial statements was Richina Pacific, which arose because the company was an issuer. It was initially registered as a local company, but later relocated to Bermuda, moving to the overseas company register, a spokesman for the registrar said in an emailed statement to BusinessDesk.

"RPL was removed from the overseas companies register in 2009, but has provided the registrar with financial statements for the 2009, 2010 and 2011 financial years," he said. "RPL is now in provisional liquidation in Bermuda."

Earlier this year, Milford Asset Management executive director Brian Gaynor wrote in the New Zealand Herald newspaper that he remained a shareholder in Richina after it delisted from the NZX in December 2008, but has had no correspondence from the company nor received an annual report since then.

Last month, receivers for Mainzeal Property & Construction, David Bridgman and Colin McCloy of PwC, said they expected to have surplus funds for the liquidator of the Mainzeal group, and have since said they'll hand over to the liquidator once preferential claims, such as paying employees, and other statutory obligations are met.

The liquidators represent unsecured creditors owed some $106.3 million, whereas the receivers were appointed by Bank of New Zealand, which was owed $11.3 million, the bulk of which was over the Mainzeal headquarters building on Auckland's Victoria St. Preferential creditors, including staff entitlements and outstanding tax, were owed about $5.3 million, according to the latest receiver's report.

The receivers are working with liquidators Brian Mayo-Smith, Andrew Bethell and Stephen Tubbs of BDO in pursuing some $46.6 million in related party debt, which stemmed from two significant restructures in the two years leading up to the group's collapse.

Mainzeal Property & Construction and Mainzeal Living were tipped into receivership on Feb. 6, the Waitangi Day public holiday, and 200 Vic joined them on Feb. 13. Liquidators were appointed to the Mainzeal group later that month on Feb. 28.

Former Prime Minister Jenny Shipley and former Brierley Investments chief executive Paul Collins resigned as directors of Mainzeal Property and Construction in December, at the request of Mainzeal and Richina group principal Richard Yan, an Auckland-based businessman, but remained directors of Mainzeal Group until just before the MPC receivership.

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