PGC shares halt after report it will list on ASX, ditch Perpetual
BUSINESSDESK: Pyne Gould Corp has had its stock halted from trading pending an announcement after a media report it will relocate to the ASX and divest its Perpetual Trust unit.
The company is being investigated by the markets regulator over related-party loans,
The plans are detailed in emails sent by Pyne Gould managing director George Kerr, Fairfax Media reported.
Pyne and Kerr are being investigated by the Financial Markets Authority over related party lending between Perpetual and the Kerr-controlled Torchlight fund.
Pyne Gould’s shares last traded at 29 cents yesterday, valuing the company at about $60.7 million.
The Court of Appeal yesterday turned down a bid by Pyne Gould to keep details of the investigation confidential.
The FMA is seeking to recover some $25 million in related party loans made by the Pyne Gould subsidiary as trustee of the Perpetual Cash Management Fund. As at June 23, some $13 million remained outstanding.
The loans were made to Torchlight Fund No 1 LP and were deemed by the FMA to not be in the best interests of investors in the Perpetual funds.
Fairfax Media cited correspondence earlier this week between Kerr and public relations consultant David Lewis, who used to be an adviser to former Prime Minister Helen Clark.
Fairfax cited Mr Kerr saying Pyne Gould would make a release “saying PGC is relisting on the ASX and focusing on its sole business Torchlight ... and divesting Perpetual group'.'
Perpetual would be run by current executive Patrick Middleton and Mr Kerr would remain in Australia.
In May, Pyne Gould’s auditor KPMG quit over unresolved differences as to what should be considered related party loans.
That was a week after the wealth manager’s managing director John Duncan unexpectedly departed, having joined the firm in 2009 after a 15-year career with Macquarie.