Wednesday 4th May 2011
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St Laurence Funds Management says it has been unable to raise sufficient capital to bail the finance company it manages, Irongate Property, out of its continuing breach of two trust deed ratios and to repay its listed bonds when they mature in less than two weeks.
The bonds would have matured and been due for repayment on May 15, but Irongate Property today asked Perpetual Trust to call in receivers.
The company - originally named St Laurence Property and Finance - was re-named Irongate in 2009 after reporting a $28.2 million loss in the six months to September 30, mostly due to property revaluations.
St Laurence, a finance company, diversified into asset and funds management by acquiring long term management contracts, including for the management of Irongate Property and NZX-listed The National Property Trust.
In April last year, Perpetual Trust appointed Barry Jordan and David Vance of Deloitte as receivers of St Laurence Ltd to protect the interests of 9000 investors owed $245 million.
The receivership did not include the companies which were the managers of The National Property Trust and Irongate Property, apparently to avoid any adverse effect on the continued operation of those contracts.
But today St Laurence Funds Management said it had failed to raise sufficient capital, and Irongate chairman Kevin Podmore said: "It's extremely disappointing that the manager's attempts to raise new equity have been unsuccessful.
"The moribund commercial property market has not been helpful."
But Mr Podmore said the manager had been able to make sales contracts which should reduce borrowings and repay "much of its senior debt, placing bondholders and shareholders in a better position".
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