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IHC clarifies lenders' receivership over its Australian properties
CATALIST-LISTED medical-property developer International Healthway Corporation (IHC) said before trading hours on Friday that the appointment of receivers by its two Australian bank lenders, Westpac and National Australia Bank (NAB), to IHC's three properties in Australia is a consequence of the disputed appointment of receivers by Crest Funds (Crest Receivers).
IHC said in a clarification to a Straits Times report on Sept 10 that the Crest Receivers have "lodged unlawful caveats over three Australian properties", which caused alarm among the two Australian bank lenders. The caveats were voluntarily and unconditionally withdrawn on July 13 "as there was no legal basis" to their lodgement, IHC said in a Singapore Exchange filing.
As a consequence, Westpac and NAB have appointed the Australian receivers over IHC's two St Kilda Road properties and the Geelong property respectively.
Citing an Australian Business Review report on Westpac and NAB taking receivership of the three properties, the ST article on Saturday questioned why shareholders and bondholders were not updated sooner by the IHC board given that receivership is an outcome that can usually be anticipated by borrowers when they fail to pay.
IHC claimed, however, that the total fair value of the Australian properties is S$117.145 million, well in excess of the outstanding amounts of A$68.125 million (S$69.8 million) currently owed as loans from NAB, Westpac and Qualitas Real Estate Finance Pty Ltd.
"Prior to the appointment of Westpac and NAB Receivers..., the company's negotiations for the sale of the two St Kilda Road properties to two separate independent third parties were at advanced stages," the medical property developer said.
"The proposed gross sale price of the two St Kilda Road properties aggregated A$104.25 million, which exceeds the combined total fair value of the said properties at S$89.81 million and represents a substantial gain over the company's original purchase prices," it said.
"Westpac and Qualitas had been kept informed of these two sale negotiations. To the best of the Company's knowledge, the Westpac Receivers intend to proceed with the proposed sales of the two St Kilda Road properties," it added.
IHC has disputed Crest Fund's appointment of receivers over the shares of the former's three subsidiaries, which are the intermediate beneficial owners and/or managers of the three named Australian properties.
Crest Fund has claimed a total outstanding amount of S$34 million under loan facility arrangements against IHC. The claim is subject to dispute and now a matter before the High Court through a suit lodged by IHC.
Of the amount of S$34 million claimed by Crest Fund, only S$5.26 million was recognised on IHC's balance sheet.