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Norbourg files for bankruptcy protection


Date: Friday, October 14, 2005
Author: Advisor.ca

Vincent Lacroix, who heads the Norbourg group of companies, including the Evolution fund family, has placed the firms' assets under bankruptcy protection with trustee RSM Richter.

In a statement released Thursday, Lacroix said he believes that this measure "was necessary given the present circumstances and was the appropriate means of protecting the interests of the investors and other creditors of the Norbourg Group."

Last month, Quebec regulators asked the province's finance minister to shut down the Norbourg group, after an audit revealed a $130 million discrepancy in the company's financial statements.

In its report, Ernst & Young said that according to Norbourg's financial statements as at July 31, 2005, assets under management amounted to $205 million, but only $75 million remains.

The number of unitholders in the Norbourg group totalled 9,200, Ernst & Young said, mostly Quebec residents. Regulators say they will attempt to recover investors' money and have set up a special phone line (1 877 525-0337) for investors seeking information.

Montreal's Integrated Market Enforcement Team (IMET) has undertaken a criminal investigation to determine whether or not legal proceedings should be launched against Norbourg. Lacroix says he will cooperate fully with the trustee and has denied any wrongdoing.