Shockwaves set to spread as Bundaberg billionaire files for administration

Greensill’s billions are gone. The global finance company that had its start in the canefields of Bundaberg has filed for administration in the UK and Australia.

Mar 09, 2021, updated Mar 09, 2021
Lex and Peter Greensill on the Bundaberg farm

Lex and Peter Greensill on the Bundaberg farm

But that is hardly the end of it. The financial dominos will now start falling with implications for companies like Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance, Tokio Marine and possibly IAG.

Shares in IAG fell 10 per cent this morning as investors woke to the news. The company’s shares were then suspended from trade.

IAG later told the market that it had no net insurance exposure to trade credit policies through a joint venture company known as BCC.

It said it sold its stake to Tokio Marine and which had also taken over the exposure.

The news from IAG followed revelation from Australian hedge fund manager John Hempton, of Bronte Capital, that he blew the whistle to regulators, APRA, about Greensills as far back as November. Hempton also raised serious concerns about IAG’s exposure to the company through insurance policies.

In a blog, Hempton said IAG’s disclosure on Greensills had been “appalling” and that it “had a large and thinly disclosed Greensill risk”.

He told APRA the level of insurance extended to Greensill by IAG, was “potentially a solvency risk” for the group.

“Greensill is controversial. They financed the fraudulent (UAE-based) NMC Health,” Hempton said in his letter to APRA.

“More publicly they were involved in the collapse of the GAM (global asset management) funds that was widely publicised.”

Hempton doubted that IAG’s sale of its stake in BCC would be the end of it with more court case to follow.

Another domino is likely to be Sanjeev Gupta, whose company owns the Whyalla steelworks in South Australia.

Greensills’ application for administration in the UK names Gupta’s company as having financial difficulties.

The Financial Times is reporting that a letter from Gupta’s GFG to Greensills in early February said the steel company would collapse into insolvency if funding was cut.

Greensills exposure to Gupta was massive and has been reported to be as high as $5.4 billion.

It seems likely that Greensills’ assets will be picked up Apollo Global Management.

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A statement from the UK administrators from Grant Thornton said discussions with an interested party in relation to the purchase of certain Greensill Capital assets were ongoing.

Greensill Capital Pty Ltd appointed Matt Byrnes, Phil Campbell-Wilson, and Michael McCann of Grant Thornton Australia, as voluntary administrators in Australia.

“We are working closely with the UK administrators in relation to next steps in the administration process,” Byrnes said.

“We are not able to comment on any individual customer’s position at this stage. GCUK, as the provider of finance for the Greensill Group via its supply-chain finance working capital products, is insolvent and is now in administration. The UK administrators will write to creditors with an update shortly.”

The administrators of Greensill Capital in Australia will convene the initial meeting of creditors of that company within eight business days for which creditors will receive notice shortly.

Greensills was founded by Lex Greensill in 2007 and it is still registered in Bundaberg.

The Greensill family still own sugar cane and sweet potato farms in Bundaberg.




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