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First LM mortgage fund payout approaching

The embattled LM First Income Mortgage Fund has signalled its first payout to investors next month after ditching a proposed “liquidity mechanism” and fund split.  

Tuesday, February 26th 2013, 9:06AM

by Niko Kloeten

About 1300 New Zealanders have more than $100 million invested in the frozen fund run by Queensland-headquartered LM Investment Management.

Last year LM proposed a constitutional change and liquidity mechanism allowing investors the choice to either stay within the Fund or choose to realise their investment, or a combination of the two.

That plan has since been cancelled but LM has told investors that it is planning to make its first pay-our since the fund was frozen in March 2009.

“As previously advised, the liquidity mechanism proposed in May 2012 will not proceed. The Fund will not be split, and there will no longer be the options for investors to “sell” or “hold” their investment in the Fund,” the company said in its latest update to investors.

“Instead, all remaining assets will be sold, and all investors will share pro-rata in the liquidity provided through this sales program. This strategy is for an orderly, commercial sale and not a fire sale of assets.”

LM said it expected to make the first payment in March, with payments likely to be made in a process that it said would take two to three years.

But it didn’t say how much investors would get in the original payment.

Last year LM cut the fund’s unit price from 73c to 59c, calling it “a true and realistic reflection of sales pricing in the current market”.

LM, which was founded by expat New Zealander Peter Drake, has been involved in a public spat with rival fund manager Trilogy, which tried to take over the running of its frozen funds.

Trilogy took over one of the feeder funds for the LM First Income Mortgage Fund but not the main fund itself.

Niko Kloeten can be contacted at niko@goodreturns.co.nz

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