Published 21 March 2012
As the Bridgecorp trial draws to an end in the Auckland High Court, the Fiji National Provident Fund has gone to the market to complete the main part of the Momi Bay Resort – the project which added $107 million to the losses confronting Bridgecorp investors.
Momi Bay was Bridgecorp’s largest loan exposure, but its loan sat behind the first mortgage to the Fiji National Provident Fund. The fund took the property to auction in 2009, didn’t get a bid which would cover its own debt let alone any of Bridgecorp’s, and bought the resort post-auction.
As owner, the Fiji Government fund is seeking to complete the 250-room resort hotel and the first phase of the Natadola residential development, and has advertised for a projection/construction manager. Expressions of interest close on Friday 30 March.
The development has 350 residential sites and a partially completed 9-hole golfcourse & clubhouse. Stage 1 includes 43ha of Crown foreshore lease plus a mix of freehold & native lease titles.
3 Bridgecorp Ltd directors – managing director Rod Petricevic, finance director Rob Roest and Australian non-executive director Peter Steigrad – have been on trial since November on prospectus & financial statement charges brought by the Securities Commission (now the Financial Markets Authority) over the 21 December 2006 prospectus & investment statements and subsequent extensions in 2007 for Bridgecorp Ltd & Bridgecorp Investments Ltd.
Just before the trial was to begin in October, chairman Bruce Davidson pleaded guilty to 10 charges of breaching the Securities Act through untrue prospectus statements. He was sentenced to 9 months’ home detention & 200 hours’ community work, plus $500,000 reparation. Then, in November, Sydney-based non-executive director Gary Urwin also pleaded guilty. He was to have been sentenced in December, but that was adjourned for a disputed facts hearing on Monday 2 April.
Closing submissions in the trial of the remaining 3 defendants should finish today, with a verdict to come from Justice Geoffrey Venning next month.
26 August 2009: Momi Bay bidding falls short
29 June 2009: Fijian fund takes Momi resort to auction
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Attribution: Ad, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.