24/07/2014 - 15:23

Bendigo settles Great Southern class action

24/07/2014 - 15:23
Follow
Follow Organisations, People and Lists Upgrade your subscription to use this feature.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank has settled class actions brought by investors in managed investment schemes operated by plantation group Great Southern, two days out from a court decision on the matter.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank has settled class actions brought by investors in managed investment schemes operated by plantation group Great Southern, two days out from a court decision on the matter.

The class action related to loans provided by Bendigo to Great Southern borrowers.

Bendigo said it reached agreement last night, while Victoria Supreme Court judge Clyde Croft was due to hand down his decision on the matter tomorrow.

Under terms of the settlement, principal and ordinary accrued interest remains payable by the borrowers, while the bank agreed to waive unpaid interest relating to overdue amounts.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank managing director Mike Hirst said members of the class action had admitted their loans were valid and enforceable and had provided broad releases from future litigation.

“We have always maintained the bank’s conduct was at all times appropriate and the bank is entitled to be repaid its loans to Great Southern borrowers,” Mr Hirst said.

“The terms of this agreement endorse this position and we look forward to working with the borrowers as they repay their debts to us.”

Great Southern collapsed in 2009, leaving investors out of pocket a collective $1.18 billion.

Litigation funder Bentham IMF announced in March this year a conditional settlement of its claims against the investment manager, which it launched in 2009.

The first was for investors who swapped interest in two cattle projects for Great Southern shares, while the second was for investors who exchanged interest in Great Southern plantation timber projects from 1998 to 2003 for shares in Great Southern Ltd.

The March announcement did not specify which claims were covered by the settlement.

Most of the plantations owned by Great Southern were bought in November last year by global investment manager New Forests, following a four-year sales process undertaken by PPB Advisory.

The eucalyptus plantations are located across six states, but are primarily in Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options