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UPDATE: TIL Logistics director Kern steps down and sells out

By Paul McBeth

April 18 (BusinessDesk) - TIL Logistics director Greg Kern has resigned from the board effectively immediately and sold his remaining 5.2 percent stake.

Trading in the shares was halted ahead of the announcement after the stock dropped 6.5 percent on an unusually large volume of 4.5 million shares. That was largely made up of five trades at $1.20 a share, a discount to the on-market bid and ask prices and the $1.53 price TIL closed at yesterday.

Trading resumed and the shares were recently at $1.45, down 5.2 percent today.

Kern sold his stake to a number of private and institutional investors and other members of TIL's board and management team. He joined the board in 2017 when he helped TIL go public via a reverse listing.

"We are delighted to be welcoming a number of well-regarded investors onto the share register, including a number of institutional investors," chair Trevor Janes said in a statement.

Kern and his interests owned just shy of 4.5 million shares, according to his last director and officer filing to the NZX. They would have pocketed $5.39 million from today's share sale at the $1.20 price quoted by Refinitiv data.

Prior to today's sale, Kern's interests have sold $3.27 million of stock, the latest of which was last October when he sold a million shares at $1.50 apiece, and agreed to an escrow period where he wouldn't sell any more shares until after the first-half result was announced in February.

TIL has more than 900 trucks and operates depots and warehouses in 60 locations. Its Pacific fuel business is one of the country’s largest tanker fleets, while its general freight business includes major brands like TNL, Hooker Pacific and Roadstar.

The firm listed on NZX in 2017 as a means to fund its expansion and to provide a mechanism to allow its major investors to exit over time.

The Kern entities were hired by TIL to investigate an initial public offering, which they gave up on due to unhelpful market conditions. TIL then went ahead with its backdoor listing via Bethunes Investments. Kern was paid a $1.1 million cash fee and $9.7 million in shares, according to the independent adviser's report.

Last October, major shareholders Bowker Holdings and Kern Group collectively sold about 3.5 million shares at $1.50 apiece in a bookbuild managed by Woodward Partners.

Bowker was controlled by the owners of the Hooker Brothers transport group, including TIL managing director Jim Ramsay, chief financial officer Greg Whitham and marketing general manager Alan Terris. Since then, the TIL shares have been transferred to those investors who now hold them directly.


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