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Administrators to mop up Absolute mess

Absolute Capital appears headed for the final chop when its administrator meets with creditors next week.

Friday, February 8th 2008, 5:15AM

by David Chaplin

Absolute, the Sydney-based hedge fund manager which raised close to $100 million from New Zealand investors through its two capital-guaranteed NZX-listed PINs products, went into voluntary administration last November after some of its underlying investments were stung by the sub-prime induced credit crisis.

In a statement to the NZX yesterday, the voluntary administrator, McGrathNicol, said a creditors meeting has been scheduled for February 13 to consider the fate of Absolute Capital Limited (ACL) and Absolute Capital Group Limited (ACGL).

At the meeting next week the group's creditors "will be asked to consider resolutions which may lead to a winding up of ACL and the entry by ACGL into a deed of company arrangement," the statement said.

"Currently, ACL is the investment manager of the portfolios and ACGL is the manager of PNZ. Going forward, if the creditors of ACGL approve the proposals to wind up certain Absolute Capital entities, then a new investment manager and manager for PNZ will need to be appointed."

According to the statement, ABN Amro Australia, which is already "providing support services" to the PINs funds, has offered to formally take over Absolute's role in relation to the products.

ABN Amro hired the bulk of Absolute's investment management team and "key support staff" late last year.

"Investors should consult their financial adviser before deciding to acquire or dispose of interests in PINs Series [A] 2005-1 or PINs Series [B] 2006-1," the NZX statement said.

Just days before the latest announcement there was significant trading activity in both PINs products after almost two months of inactivity.

On January 29 just under 30,000 PINs A shares changed hands at 56 cents while on the first two trading days in February almost 300,000 PINs B shares were offloaded at 51 cents.

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