Hubbard's Southbury assets worth just $700k, liquidator says
BUSINESSDESK: Southbury Group, the primary holding company for the empire of deceased Timaru businessman Allan Hubbard, has just $700,000 in cash, the first liquidator's report shows.
Liquidators John Fisk and David Bridgman of PwC says the group's investments in other companies and loans with a book value of $195 million are "likely to be of negligible value" in their first report on Southbury.
The group owes some $83 million to the now-defunct South Canterbury Finance, referred to as FCS Loans.
"The company was placed into liquidation as the final step in the insolvency process of the South Canterbury Finance group of companies," the liquidators say.
They were appointed last month after satisfying the High Court that a potential conflict of interest – where Jean Hubbard, Allan Hubbard's widow, engaged PwC for advice – wouldn't be a problem.
In June, Mrs Hubbard engaged PwC to undertake an independent valuation for a proposed asset sale where she and her husband's estate were shareholders.
In a sworn affidavit attached to the report, Mr Fisk said the valuation was limited in scope, was being conducted by a separate team based in Auckland, and didn't relate to Southbury in any way.
"I do not believe there is any potential prejudice to Southbury or its creditors, shareholders or directors by virtue of the valuation PwC is undertaking for Mrs Hubbard," he said.
Messrs Fisk and Bridgman are also acting as liquidators for eight other South Canterbury Finance-related companies.
The Crown has taken over the lending group's wind-up, having clawed back $645 million of the $1.78 billion it paid out to guaranteed debenture holders.
In June, South Canterbury Finance still held assets worth some $350 million after receivers Kerryn Downey and William Black of McGrathNicol sold stakes in Helicopters NZ, Scales Corp, Dairy Holdings, as well as the sale of the so-called good bank and FACE Finance.