31 Jul 2012

PGC set to sell Perpetual businesses

7:51 am on 31 July 2012

Pyne Gould Corporation is set to split off and sell its Perpetual businesses after receiving approaches from a number of buyers.

Managing director George Kerr says the company has received approaches from a number of parties wishing to acquire all or part of the Perpetual Group, which includes corporate trust, personal trust and retail asset management.

He says the board accepts the merit of a complete separation, both of governance and of ownership, between the retail focused Perpetual and the

wholesale focused Torchlight Investment Group.

He says no deals have been reached yet.

Mr Kerr says if all, or part, of Perpetual is divested, Pyne Gould will put money into Torchlight to manage distressed assets.

The core business of Pyne Gould will then be Torchlight.

Mr Kerr says the changes signal the last stage in the company's restructuring which began with a rescue package in 2009.

With Torchlight's focus on Australia and the United Kingdom, Mr Kerr says that it is inevitable that Pyne Gould will have little exposure to New Zealand.

The board has now hired advisors to look at the opportunity for listing the company in either or both Australia and the UK.

Torchlight Fund has been repaying $28 million to Perpetual, in a deal that sparked a Financial Markets Authority investigation into allegations of undisclosed related party transactions.