By Andrew Starke

The Hedley Leisure and Gaming Property Group (HLG) has been suspended from trading on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) after failing to lodge its financial results.

The embattled pub group has been considering refinancing options to service its $745 million debt since cutting ties with its founder, Queensland pub baron Tom Hedley.

Hedley executive chairman Colin Henson attributed the delay in reporting results to a request from the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) to value liquor and gaming licences separately from property.

In a statement to the ASX, Henson said: “One of the significant issues delaying the finalisation of the full year results has been that, after discussions with ASIC on accounting practice, HLG has adopted a revised accounting policy for the treatment and disclosure of liquor and gaming licences separately from investment property.”

HLG is currently in discussions with a syndicate of banks it owes money to about extending its repayment deadline from August next year to August 2012.

“An extension should provide security holders and potential investors greater surety about the future viability of HLG, but will involve higher interest cost, continued restrictions on distributions and significant debt reduction requirements,” Henson said.

However, the group has conceded that there is a ‘significant risk’ that its extension negotiations would be unsuccessful, forcing the pub group into receivership.

HLG shares were trading at 27 cents at midday today, slightly down from 29 cents seven days ago but significantly down from the $3.50 at its listing in August, 2007.   

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *