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GFNZ, formerly Geneva Finance, has funding to repay debentures, end moratorium

Tuesday 16th July 2013

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GFNZ Group, the finance company formerly known as Geneva Finance, says it has concluded talks on a series of funding transactions worth $27.5 million that will allow it to repay debenture holders, existing bank and other debt.

The core part of the new arrangements is a $30 million securitized debt facility with Westpac Banking Corp, the company said. It also has agreement from a group of investors including two Geneva directors to provide a $5 million debt facility for its Stellar Collections debt collection unit and 33 percent shareholders Federal Pacific Group has agreed to provide a $5 million unsecured loan to parent GFNZ.

The new funding arrangements will allow the company to settle all outstanding debt to debenture holders, repay its facility with BOS International (Australia) and repay funds provided from other investors, on August 1, it said. As a result it expects to formally exit a moratorium entered into in November 2007 when it owed some $132.4 million to investors

"This transaction is the culmination of nearly six years hard work," said managing director David O'Connell. "When we began this journey in 2007, no one had heard of the global financial crisis and no one forecast one of the worst recessions in New Zealand's history."

Exiting the moratorium would be "very satisfying," he said.

The arrangements still need shareholder approval at a meeting on July 31. GFNZ's shares trade on the NZAX market and were last at 4.8 cents, having climbed 85 percent in the past year. That values the company at $13.4 million.

Separately, the company plans to be restructured into four trading entities, which also requires shareholder signoff.

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