MR No. 2018 – 13
23 April 2018
The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has applied to the High Court to place the Forestlands companies numbered 2-20 into liquidation.
The application for liquidation has been filed at the Nelson Registry of the High Court. An initial hearing will take place on April 26 at 11am. As required in liquidation proceedings, advertisements have today been placed in the Gazette and will also appear in the local newspaper, the Nelson Mail.
The application does not cover Forestlands NZ Limited and Forestlands Marketing who are also in the Forestlands group of companies. These companies are not financial markets participants.
Shareholders and Creditors are entitled to a copy of the affidavit setting out the FMA’s case in seeking the liquidation of these companies. This can be obtained in the following manner:
Shareholders: Contact the FMA via e-mail at email@example.com. The FMA will ask the individual to verify that they are a shareholder with a document that has been generated by the Forestlands companies. Shareholders could either scan a document or take a photo using a smartphone.
If a shareholder does not have any documents, the FMA will check Companies Office records and will ask the individual to verify in writing that they are the same person as on the Companies Office record.
Creditors: Any creditors should contact Meredith Connell using the details below.
Members of the public who are not shareholders and other interested media can seek a copy of the affidavit from the registry of the Nelson High Court under the Senior Courts (Access to Court Documents) rules 2017.
The FMA is bringing this application because at this point it has no confidence in the director to manage the relevant interests appropriately between the director, the entities associated with him, ‘B’ shareholders and creditors of the Forestlands companies.
The application to appoint a liquidator will bring independence and certainty to the process and enable the liquidator to determine the appropriate way forward for releasing Forestlands funds to investors.
On the 20th April the High Court heard an application by 10 of the Forestlands companies in relation to money owed to the Inland Revenue Department. This application was filed on the 19th April.
The total owed and due to Inland Revenue was $1,529,203 and interest of $112,586. The judgment notes that if this sum is not paid by midday 23rd April, penalties of $157,316 will accrue.
The Forestlands companies sought the FMA’s consent to access the net proceeds of sale of $18 million which have been held in the trust account of the Forestlands companies’ solicitors, Anthony Harper to pay the outstanding tax.
The FMA declined this consent as liquidation proceedings were before the courts.
The High Court granted orders for the Forestlands Companies to pay the income tax liabilities from the $18 million held in the trust account.
The FMA and Serious Fraud Office maintain separate ongoing investigations into Forestlands.
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