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Nathans investors still in the dark

Investors in Nathans Finance are still unaware of how much of their money they will receive from the failed finance company which collapsed seven months ago.

Friday, April 4th 2008, 2:02PM
Nathans was a subsidiary of NZX-listed VTL which is a company that operated a number of vending machine businesses.

In total Nathans had lent around $171 million of the money it raised from retail investors to VTL.

Currently Nathans' receivers had provided to fund VTL "to enable it to trade pending the sale and restructure of its business units by way of a managed process."

A sale of some of those units was expected in the first quarter of this year, but delays mean they are likely to happen in the current quarter.

The receivers, John Waller and Colin McCloy, say the sales are well-advanced and say that given the "commercial sensitivity" around the sale process they are "not in a position to release our assessment of potential recoveries to secured debenture investors."

Earlier they had expressed their desire to pay an initial dividend of 10 to 15 cents in the dollar.

The receivers say they have been investigating Nathans and its operations and and have "identified a number of issues" which are now being discussed with the "appropriate government authorities".

They are also concerned about VTL's reported loss of $133 million in the 14-month period to August 31.

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