DAF bondholders begin court action

Bondholders in the failed truckmaker DAF NV have begun a multi-million-pound court action against the company's 10-strong bank syndicate, which includes Barclays, Lloyds and National Westminster.

Thousands of investors, among them a group of Dutch nuns, the Sisters of Saint Francis, claim that they were misled by the banks, led by the Netherlands-based ABN Amro.

The dispute involves a 150 million guilder (£57m) bond issue by DAF in 1988. The company went bankrupt in 1993, but the bondholders claim that while senior creditors were reimbursed they received nothing.

The writ has been issued on behalf of bondholders by the trustee to the bond issue, Nederlandsche Trust-Maatschappij (NTM). The writ alleges that ABN Amro published misleading information in a 1988 prospectus to the issue.

NTM's Otto Linker said yesterday that the writ had been served on 23 December. NTM argues that bondholders were promised equal treatment with other creditors and say they are owed about 150m guilders raised from asset sales after DAF's collapse.

A new company, DAF Trucks BV, was resurrected from the collapse and bank creditors got more than 800m guilders.

One of the bondholders, Gary Klesch, whose London firm Klesch & Co specialises in bond bankruptcy situations, said DAF executives had told them the bond investors ranked equally as creditors with the banks.

Mr Klesch said that the former DAF chairman, Aart van der Padt, had confirmed in public hearings in 1993 that it was "his understanding that the bondholders would be entitled to the same security as the banks". Klesch & Co is thought to own bonds worth £10m.

Mr Linker said the group bank creditors were the first target of the action, but if the court failed to grant bondholders equal treatment, NTM would begin action against ABN.

ABM declined to comment on the action. The banks have three months to respond to the writ.

DAF bonds have a nominal value of 100 guilders but have been trading at 7 guilders.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Software Development Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: Product Manager - (Product Marketing, Financial Services)

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Assistant

£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...

Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive

£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee