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Apple Fields pacifies bond investors

By Chris Hutching

Friday 8th September 2000

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Once almost down-and-out listed company Apple Fields has made sufficient repayments to its Rural Super Bond Superannuation Scheme to repay investors 97% of what they are owed, according to the trustee of the scheme Tower Trust.

For most investors the money repaid so far represents nearly all their principal and many of them have received interest payments over the term of the bonds until Apple Fields defaulted on the scheme nearly two years ago and Tower Trust initiated mortgagee sales, in many cases conducted by Apple Fields.

Tower is still working out the amounts of interest owed to investors who capitalised interest payments.

One 41ha undeveloped block of Apple Fields land near Christchurch airport remains to be sold to satisfy the balance of the debt.

Apple Fields managing director Tom Kain said a deal was being finalised and would involve sale of the land to an investment group, with Apple Fields retaining a development interest for later sale when both parties would share the upside from rezoning for residential housing.

He said Apple Fields would have reduced its debt from $70 million two years ago to virtually nothing. It would have some joint venture interests and $50 million in tax losses.

There is also a possibility of recovery of some money from a High Court appeal on October 24 involving the sale of land at Styx to developer Robin Hughes. The first couple of houses are already under construction despite the court case overhanging the development.

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