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Satara Earns Plaudits From NZX With Its AX Listing

News Release
For immediate release
December 13, 2004

Satara Earns Plaudits From NZX With Its AX Listing

Satara Co-operative Group Limited entered a new era today when it acknowledged its listing on the NZAX at a function in Tauranga.

The listing's a first for the NZAX as Satara is now in the position of being New Zealand's first co-operative with shares freely tradeable by the public. Satara's hybrid capital structure, whereby a co-operative of growers can operate alongside ordinary company shareholders within a single legal entity, puts it in select company.

Commenting from the US on today's signing, NZX markets development manager Geoff Brown says the NZX is delighted to welcome Satara into the fold. Brown, who would have been at today's signing ceremony were it not for a flight cancellation, says Satara joins 21 other firms that have had successful listings on the NZAX market since it opened for business just over a year ago.

Since then, the AX market has enjoyed phenomenal success," he says. "I know Satara will add to that success in no small measure and should be congratulated on its foresight and innovation."

Brown says Satara's listing is a success on another level as well.

"Its two-tiered share structure, which acts to protect the co-operative shares while providing a platform for liquidity and potential future capital raising, is a model that will serve as a compelling example to other primary industry-based companies in New Zealand."

Jon Cimino, managing director of Satara's NZX sponsoring company Jon Cimino Partners, says the Satara listing is different in that it's yet another co-operative listing that adds to a small number of other co-operatives which have listed on the NZAX.

"This provides a major platform for the Exchange to attract co-operative companies," he says. "As other co-operatives look at the Satara model, they may consider it has parallels with their own situation."

Cimino, whose Auckland-based investment company is authorised to bring AX listings to the market place, says Satara has been resolute and steadfast throughout the entire listing process and has demonstrated a high level of professionalism.

"Satara has gone out of its way to keep growers fully informed, which bodes well for its shareholders in future."

Satara CEO Brian Bilas says, in a single stroke of the pen, the NZAX listing sees Satara elevated on to a new playing field.

"It is a different ball game now with new levels of regulatory requirements and higher levels of professionalism needing to be demonstrated," he says.

Bilas says he has confidence in the future – both for Satara and the kiwifruit industry.

"The returns Satara growers will receive for the 2004 season will be among the very best in the industry. This healthy situation is expected to continue and Satara's Investor shareholders will continue to benefit from this."

Satara has reiterated that its 2004 result is likely to be in line with last year's when the company achieved a net after tax profit of $1.3m from which a dividend of $880,457 was declared being 6 cents per Investor Share. This carried full imputation credits.

END

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