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Strategic investors warned off low ball offer

Friday 11th June 2010

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Strategic Finance investors have been warned off a low ball offer from some unknown Australian company.

The Securities Commission says debenture holders should be cautious of an offer from Stock & Share Trading.

The regulator said investors should be "cautious of any unsolicited offer to purchase their investments, especially where the offer is well below face value." The company, whose sole director John Armour, offered to buy Strategic debentures for 5 cents in the dollar, having previously offered 20 cents.

Armour's Stock & Share Trading Co has put in a similar offer to investors in St Laurence, and Strategic investors have previously been wooed with a miniscule bid by the mysterious Christchurch-based Marchmont Securities.

John Fisk and Colin McCloy of PricewaterhouseCoopers, Strategic's receiver, flagged mid-June for when it will go through a formal sale process of the failed finance firm's loan book.

Strategic was sent to the receivers in March after it failed to generate enough loan recoveries, and had a bid to do a debt-for-equity swap turned down by its trustee, Perpetual Trust.

The finance company owes some 11,000 investors about $391.5 million, and was referred to the Securities Commission by Commerce Minister Simon Power after ACT MP John Boscawen raised concerns about the status of some of the company's second ranking mortgages in Parliament last year.


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