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Hot Topic NBR Focus: GMO
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Nathans’ receivers PwC told to pull finger as director ban fought

A court has told receivers PricewaterhouseCoopers and law firm Bell Gully to speed up their co-operation with failed Nathans Finance-linked directors fighting a directorship ban.Former Nathans Finance directors Kenneth Roger Moses and Donald Young, along

Jock Anderson
Wed, 07 Jul 2010

A court has told receivers PricewaterhouseCoopers and law firm Bell Gully to speed up their co-operation with failed Nathans Finance-linked directors fighting a directorship ban.

Former Nathans Finance directors Kenneth Roger Moses and Donald Young, along with Nathans parent company Vending Technologies (VTL) chairman Gary Stevens, want a bid by the registrar of companies to ban them as directors blocked until more company information is surrendered by PWC.

Nathans collapsed in August 2007, owing $174 million.

“They are men of good standing and they do not want the registrar to make any decisions without being properly informed. As things stand at the moment the registrar has a one-sided view,” Mr Jones said.

Their application for a judicial review of the registrar’s banning intention, issued to them in April 2009, was adjourned to September.

Nathans Finance reported a $133 million loss to its 7000 investors in 2007, and Mr Stevens, as VTL chairman, presided over a massive write-down of company assets in 2008.

In the High Court at Auckland today Justice Rhys Harrison issued a “strong request” to PWC – who have already clocked up more than $1.3 million in receivers’ fees - to co-operate with Messrs Moses, Young and Stevens.

Lawyer David Jones QC told Justice Harrison there was a lack of progress in getting what he said was a vast quantity of material from PWC.

Despite an undertaking from PWC it would hand over the material sought by July 19, Mr Jones said the receivers and their solicitors “have made us go through more hoops than a circus” by demanding various conditions and effectively moving the goalposts.

Justice Harrison said the delays in getting the material was not in the public interest and noted Mr Jones’ assurance the trio had given undertakings they would not solicit public funds and would not participate as directors or managers of any company in the meantime.

Once the vast amount of material was disclosed it would take some time – possibly months – to have it analysed and enable Messrs Moses, Young and Stevens to make representations that would enable the registrar to make an informed decision, Mr Jones said.
In separate proceedings Messrs Moses and Young and former fellow Nathans directors John Hotchin (brother of Mark) and Mervyn Doolan face Securities Commission charges of luring investors by lying in company advertisements and its prospectus.

Jock Anderson
Wed, 07 Jul 2010
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Nathans’ receivers PwC told to pull finger as director ban fought
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