Ford hits out at Lifemark loan deal delays

Keydata founder Stewart Ford has hit out at Lifemark provisional administrator Eric Collard of KPMG Luxemburg for failing to progress a loan facility of up to £91m aimied at taking Lifemark out of administration.

Money Marketing revealed in August that Ford (pictured) had arranged the facility with a US bank prepared to offer up to 50 per cent of the value of the Lifemark life settlement portfolio.

Ford’s law firm Withers has now written to Collard over concerns that although Collard was approached with the loan seven weeks ago, no progress has been made on securing the funding.

The letter was sent to Collard yesterday. Copies of the letter, seen by Money Marketing, have also been sent to representatives at the Luxemburg regulator the CSSF, the FSA, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and Investment Management Association chairman Douglas Ferrans and chief executive Richard Saunders.

It has also been sent to Aifa director general Stephen Gay and director Robert Sinclair, Treasury financial secretary Mark Hoban, Treasury select committee chairman Andrew Tyrie, and to Peter Hilton, representing the Lifemark £50,000 plus investors’ group.

Ford argues the loan facility would cover premium payments at risk due to a current lack of liquidity, and would see bondholders and creditors repaid, including the FSCS.

The letter says: “It is therefore a matter of grave disappointment and serious concern to our clients and the many other stakeholders of Lifemark that you have failed to grasp the opportunity to refinance and restructure Lifemark. It would be a scandal that should require a public inquiry if you fail to do so now.”

Ford alleges that Collard approved the signing of a £32,000 refundable fee to allow the investment bank offering the loan to carry out due diligence on September 10. Ford says Collard then decided on September 15 that the loan would only be acceptable if it included an upfront payment of £64m.

Collard was unavailable for comment.