Perpetual launches new court action against Elderslie

The Elderslie Finance Corporation saga took another twist yesterday. A statement of claim was served against Elderslie, its subsidiary and two directors for compensation for the misappropriation of trust money.

The Elderslie Finance Corporation saga took another twist yesterday. A statement of claim was served against Elderslie, its subsidiary and two directors for compensation for the misappropriation of trust money.

The $200 million finance company, formerly chaired by John Hewson, went into receivership on 2 July, with $400 million of liabilities, with at least half of that owed to mum and dad investors and other small investors.

The statement of claim filed in the NSW Supreme Court was made by the group’s trustee, Perpetual Trustee Company.

Hewson was not a party to the action by Perpetual. Hewson, who resigned as chairman of Elderslie on 3 June, says he is unaware of the statement of claim.

“I am at the Olympics,” he told SmartCompany this morning. “I resigned a few months ago and I know nothing about it and have heard nothing about it.”

Hewson has said in previous interviews he was appointed in November 2006 to turn Elderslie around and overcome management difficulties. Hewson had been working on a last ditch rescue package that would have involved an equity injection. A previous rescue package from former realestate.com.au chief executive Nigel Purves also fell through.

In May Perpetual appointed investigative accountants from PricewaterhouseCoopers, which found that Elderslie “was or would become insolvent unless the company was sold and received a significant cash injection to meet its short term liquidity requirements”.

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