FMA plays down Hanover settlement talks

Settlement conference held in court today. 

The Financial Markets Authority is playing down secret settlement talks taking place between Mark Hotchin and the regulator.

In the case launched about three years ago, the FMA wants compensation for the $35 million investors lost. 

The proceedings are against Mr Hotchin and Hanover co-founder Eric Watson and former directors Greg Muir, Bruce Gordon, Sir Tipene O’Regan and Dennis Broit over allegedly misleading or untrue statements made in offer documents during the period December 7, 2007 to July 22, 2008.

Today the parties met for a judicial settlement conference before Justice Sarah Katz in the High Court at Auckland. The hearing was in chambers meaning the media could not report.

An FMA spokesman said it was a standard step in the litigation process and could not comment further as it was before the courts.

In March a related proceeding which Mr Hotchin had taken against trustees to include them in the case was part settled.

Mr Hotchin reached a confidential settlement with Perpetual Trust, leaving only Guardian Trust a party to the case which went to the Supreme Court. A decision in that case has been reserved.

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