A group of investors will be made whole after a failed Danish bank was found to have misrepresented its finances.
Taberna Europe, an Irish company that manages collateralized debt obligations for clients, was awarded the equivalent of nearly $34 million by the London High Court last week, a verdict that was announced on Monday by Duane Morris, the plaintiff’s law firm.
The court ruled that Roskilde Bank of Denmark misrepresented its financial conditions when it issued subordinated-debt-backed paper shortly before its failure in 2008. Taberna bought a collateralized debt obligation backed by the debt, and underwritten by Merrill Lynch, right before the issuer collapsed, according to Hersh Kozlov, Duane Morris’ lead attorney on the case.
“It seemed illogical to us that a bank issuing an offering circular with honest numbers would fail right after the paper was issued,” he said. “We were able to prove to the British high court that the numbers were cooked.”
The verdict will allow Taberna to be paid in full from the bankruptcy estate, despite its subordinate claim on the bank’s debt. Taberna will then distribute the proceeds to the collateral manager for the CDO, U.S. firm Fortress Investment Group, which will in turn distribute it to investors.
The international range of companies touched by the verdict “really does show you the global nature of the economy,” Kozlov said.