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02/416 ASIC obtains final orders against Roadships Ltd (in liquidation)

Friday 15 November 2002

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) has obtained final orders from the Supreme Court of Queensland regarding its action against Roadships Ltd (In Liquidation) relating to an illegal fundraising.

Roadships is a Gold Coast-based company involved in the integration of road and sea freight.

ASIC took action against Roadships following concerns the company was raising funds in contravention of the fundraising provisions of the Corporations Law.

In April 2001, ASIC successfully obtained interim injunctions against Roadships in restraining the company from dealing with its assets, pending a final hearing.

ASIC also obtained similar injunctions against Hildag Pty Ltd, a substantial shareholder in Roadships. Hildag operated an investment club, whose principal activity was the sale of Roadships shares to members of the public.

In May 2002, Mr Michael Nugent, the director of Roadships, placed the company into administration. The company was subsequently placed into liquidation in July 2002. Hildag was placed into administration by its directors, in May 2002 and was subsequently placed into liquidation in June 2002.

After discussions with the administrators/liquidators of both companies, it was agreed that the injunctions against both companies would be lifted to enable the liquidators to deal with the assets of the companies.

In making its final orders in this matter, the Court found Roadships unlawfully issued shares without proper disclosure to investors, and disseminated false and misleading statements in relation to its securities.

The Court found that Hildag indirectly issued shares in Roadships in breach of the law, made statements and disseminated information about Roadships that was false or materially misleading, and provided investment advice on its website without holding a licence as required under law.

The Court ordered that, after payment of the fees and expenses related to the administration and liquidation of both companies, any surplus funds received by the companies are to be paid by the liquidator of Roadships to all investors and other third parties from whom both companies received monies.

Any shareholder in Roadships who acquired shares from either Roadships or Hildag who requires further information, should contact the liquidator of Roadships at Armstrong Wily & Co, Chartered Accountants in Margaret Street, Sydney, New South Wales.

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