Matthew Smith Reporter

Matthew Smith has been a business and financial journalist for more than a decade. He previously worked with the Financial Times Group, reporting from New York on company buyouts and refinancing in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis. He started his career reporting on the funds management industry in Sydney.

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Waratah Co-Op folds as CBA calls in receivers

Published 21 December 2012 17:53, Updated 04 January 2013 14:14

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Queensland-based Waratah Co-operative Housing Society has been placed into receivership after the organisation defaulted on its loan with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

Waratah is the umbrella entity for the five separate Queensland co-ops that provide loans to “many hundreds of people”, says Michael McCann, recovery and reorganisation partner with Grant Thornton.

While CBA was the major lender to Waratah, there are other creditors on the books, McCann says.

The receivers are in the process of transitioning the management of the loan portfolio and expect to begin approaching potential buyers for the loan book early in the New Year.

McCann says it’s too early in the process to comment on how large the loan book in question is other than to say it is comparable to other recent receiverships in the state.

Earlier this year Poinciana and Jacaranda Co-operative Housing Societies were placed in receivership after defaulting a loan book of $120 million.

Banks have been increasingly looking to move on loan defaults in the last 18 months, says John Greig, head of Corporate Recovery Queensland.

“Put it this way I have had a very busy couple of years,” he says.

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