Unhappy Masterbond investors vote to settle
AN ACRIMONIOUS meeting of Masterbond investors in Cape Town this week ended with an overwhelming 98%voting to accept a R40-million out-of-court settlement offer by the group's former auditors, Ernst & Young - 15 days before the offer was due to lapse.
The ''yes" vote came from 9 641 investors and proxies represented at the meeting and with losses amounting to R232.8-million.
Only 2% - 305 investors and proxies with losses of R6.4-million - voted against accepting the settlement.
Investors complained that the three-hour meeting, unlike earlier meetings, was not being tape recorded and that minutes were not being taken and called for it to be postponed.
Pierre Kriel, an attorney who negotiated the R40-million offer to settle all claims against Ernst & Young, said the curators were originally pushing for R130-million as a settlement figure. ''We got a third of that and in the circumstances it is a fair figure."
Curator Jeff Malherbe pointed out that about 85% of investors' money had been recovered, though this did not mean that each investor had received 85% of his investment.
Johan Anderssen, who represented a large number of investors, claimed the offer would prejudice investors who would be prevented from bringing damages claims. However, curator David Nurok said in negotiations with Ernst & Young, the auditors had wanted to be ''ring-fenced" against any future claims.
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