By Ian Neubauer
Hedley Leisure Group (HLG) announced a trading halt on the Australian Stock Exchange today after the company’s shares lost 28 per cent of their value yesterday. HLG shares are now worth only 93 cents after opening at $1.48 on Monday.
Analysts believe the loss is linked to a number of interconnected factors.
These include a Wednesday statement by HLG chairman Colin Henson that the company had cashed out interest rate swaps to reduce debt; a cash shortage at Tom Private, a non-listed company owned by Queensland pub baron Tom Hedley and an associated delay in the settlements in two property deals; last week’s of dumping of 2.1 million HGL shares by NSW hotelier Martello Collosimo; and troubling financial developments at NLG, which leases 32 hotels from HLG.
Hedley purchased $10.2 million of NLG stock following a failed rights issue last month — stock that has since lost 85 per cent of its value.
HLG refused to comment today. But in an announcement to the ASX on Wednesday the company said its share price was “significantly undervalued and does not represent all of the tangible and intangible assets embedded in the fund”.
The trading freeze will remain in effect until Monday March 10 pending the release of further announcements by the group.