Injunction Awarded On NZDG Proxy Vote Form
‘Farmers For A Better Dairy Deal’
17 June 2001
Last week, ‘Farmers for a Better Deal’ (‘the Group’) distributed a proxy form as a leaflet in various provincial newspapers. The Group’s form allowed farmers to revoke any earlier proxy in favour of the merger, and to instruct their proxy to vote against it.
On Friday, NZDG telephoned some shareholders and told them that the Group’s proxy form was invalid.
The Group does not agree that the form was invalid and was concerned that shareholders using the form would be disenfranchised.
After discussions with NZDG on Saturday morning, the Group obtained an interim injunction from the Wellington High Court against NZDG.
The Court ordered that NZDG must not destroy any forms and must keep them safe. Further the NZDG must not declare the result of the vote on Monday before any question of validity is resolved by agreement or Court order. The injunction does not affect the conduct of the meeting or the voting.
NZDG subsequently advised that it was concerned the Group’s proxy form did not have a computer bar code, to allow votes to be counted by a computer scanner, and it may also set a problematic precedent for future shareholder meetings.
The Group has no interest in delaying the orderly announcement of the vote.
Today, there have been discussion with NZDG, as a result of which the Group believes all votes, including those made by proxy using the Group’s form, will be counted in the normal way, and that there need be no delay in completing and announcing the result of the vote.
Nothing in the injunction prevents or delays the meeting tomorrow or affects the voting.
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