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Forestlands companies placed in liquidation by High Court

Media release
MR No. 2018 – 36
6 September 2018

The High Court in Nelson has placed Forestlands companies 2-12 and 14-20 into liquidation.

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) sought the appointment of liquidators by the court to bring independence and certainty to the resolution of the companies’ affairs.

The court appointed Neale Jackson and Grant Graham of KordaMentha as liquidators.

KordaMentha were previously tasked by the director with developing a method to distribute the proceeds of the sale of forestry assets to shareholders. This meant KordaMentha had to satisfy the court the proposed liquidators were sufficiently independent.

In its application to be appointed, KordaMentha assured the court through an order made under Section 280 of the Companies Act:

  • The proposed liquidators are aware of their obligations to act independently and professionally
  • The previous services do not compromise their independence or their ability to carry out the role
  • As a result of the previous services, the proposed liquidators have extensive knowledge of the affairs of the Forestland entities, providing an efficient springboard for a subsequent role as liquidators and delivering benefits in the liquidations from a cost and efficiency point of view.

Associate Judge Matthews noted that “I am satisfied that…the services performed by KordaMentha do not compromise the independence of Mr Jackson and Mr Graham or their ability to carry out their role professionally and effectively.  No issue is or can be taken with their competence and integrity.”

Another company in the Forestlands group, Forestlands NZ Ltd was placed in liquidation earlier this week.

Forestlands NZ Ltd is not a financial markets participant and no shares in the company were issued to investors. This meant the FMA was unable to apply to the court to place this company in liquidation.

Neale Jackson and Grant Graham of KordaMentha have also been appointed as liquidators to Forestlands NZ.

Court appointed liquidators have 25 working days to file their initial report to the Companies Register. An e-mail address has been established for contact with the liquidators: Forestlands@kordamentha.co.nz

The FMA’s investigation into the actions of the Forestlands director, Rowan Kearns, remains ongoing. A Serious Fraud Office investigation relating to Forestlands NZ Ltd also remains ongoing.

Contact:

Edwin Mitson
Senior Adviser, Media Relations
021 702 036