The teetering trio – Centro, MFS and Allco – are not alone it seems. Indeed, the cascading credit crisis means we’ve already gone past “the sagging seven” and are now looking at a “leveraged eleven”.
Here’s an around the grounds summary:
Allco Finance Group: cracking investigative piece by Karen Maley in The AFR today. Attempting to wriggle out of this $US1.5 billion power station purchase. Appears to be all over with jewel in the crown, the aircraft leasing business, up for sale. Qantas consortium partners, Texas Pacific and Macquarie are most likely buyers. Big question is whether David Coe and Gordon Fell can hang onto their respective $30 million Vaucluse and Point Piper waterfronts.
Record Realty: the over-geared Allco property fund plunged another 3.5c to 30c after touching a low of 22c this morning. Plunge caused by suspension of distributions.
Macquarie Fortress: $220 million of investor funds has been destroyed on massively geared investments in US bonds. The worst performed stock of my 630 over the past six months and they haven’t written a single letter, hence this thoroughly deserved video shellacking.
MFS: At last, some shareholders, led by former S8 CEO Chris Scott, are attempting to rise up and cause a board coup that stops the Stella fire-sale. Unfortunately, the broader disaster in New Zealand and with other MFS funds suggests there ain’t any value to save.
MFS Leisure & Living: attempting a fire-sale of the aquarium assets to Village Roadshow after revealing shock debt to associated, but suspended, MFS Prime Income Fund earlier this week.
Tricom: close to insolvent and attempting a fire-sale to Bell Potter.
Challenger Financial Group: shares down another 2.5% to $2.70 this morning, against $6.50 last October. Worries about Interstar mortgage business and excessive financial engineering.
City Pacific: Gold Coast cousin of MFS – they share KPMG’s Gold coast office for audit services. Michael West explained why it’s precarious on Business Day yesterday.
Mariner Group: Bill Ireland, the founder of Challenger flicked by Kerry Packer, has listed his Mosman property for sale as the various debt-laden property funds all plunge.
Centro: both the parent and the Centro Retail Trust were suspended this morning as we reach today’s February 15 deadline and wait to hear if the banks are going to foreclose or rollover.
Credit Corp: debt collecting should be a growth business but this outfit missed its profit forecast, saw its shares tumble 70% in a day and then CEO Geoff Lucas copped this margin call.
All those recent bouquets to Macquarie are forgotten in today’s Mayne Report video.