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Hubbard Management Fund investors to recover entire principal

Friday 15th February 2013

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Investors in the frozen Hubbard Management Funds will get all of their capital back, though anyone who's already been paid more than what they put in won't get anything more.

Statutory managers Graeme McGlinn, Richard Simpson and Trevor Thornton of Grant Thornton said 208 of the 300 investors who faced a potential loss will get 100 percent of their principal, and were today paid 10 cents in the dollar, or $2.1 million. The payment comes after the High Court determined how investors would be repaid in December in a decision that wasn't appeal. An initial $9 million distribution was paid last year.

"This will come as an enormous relief to investors, who have been uncertain about repayments since the fund was put into statutory management," the statutory managers said. "Once all capital return pool payments are completed, we will reassess the value of the remaining assets and confirm the entitlement calculation for each investor to the surplus pool assets."

The fund's portfolio was valued at $40.75 million as at Dec. 31, and the managers decided to reduce and realign larger holdings in that month.

Last year the statutory managers decided against seeking repayments from investors who were overpaid, and the court-ordered claw-back of overpayments in the interim distribution has been removed.

Former Commerce Minister Simon Power appointed the statutory managers of deceased Timaru financier Allan Hubbard and his wife Jean, and various entities, in mid-2010. The HMF entity emerged from their investigations into Aorangi Securities, another Hubbard vehicle.

The appointment controversially left out Hubbard's primary entity, South Canterbury Finance, which ultimately cost the taxpayer an upfront bill of $1.7 billion when it failed and called on the government deposit guarantee scheme.

The managers' acrimonious relations with Jean Hubbard, the executor of Allan Hubbard's estate, extend into their oversight of HMF, with legal battles brewing over investments in Merger Group and South American Ferro Metals.

Grant Thornton has racked up $2.64 million in fees and disbursements on the HMF investigation, with total costs of $5.83 million since June 2010.

The managers' report on Aorangi Securities and several charitable trusts was released earlier this month, showing their fees rose to $3.6 million as at Dec. 21, bringing total costs to $7.1 million including legal advice.

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