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Headlines From The NZ Business Times Nov. 16

Headlines From The NZ Business Times Nov. 16

Razor Gang Rips Through BNZ Page 1

The Bank of New Zealand is set for a shake-up, with uncompromising management consultants McKinsey & Co scrutinising the bank¹s operations The McKinsey project, dubbed ³Positioning for Growth², will look at all aspects of the group¹s operations, and is expected to consider full integration with the group¹s parent company, National Australia Bank. The BNZ employs 4,300 people, and the McKinsey raises uncertainty about some of their positions. The review also comes at a time when the banking industry faces tightening economic conditions and a squeeze on lending margins.

Gerry Harvey Set To Shake-Up Briscoes Page 2

The New Zealand retail landscape is in for a major shake up as a result of idiosyncratic Australian Gerry Harvey, king of the Harvey Norman homeware chain, taking a stake in local retailer Briscoes. Mr Harvey has revealed to the NZ Business Times that he plans to bring his expertise in property development to Briscoes, and create American style mega-retail developments. The move could change the focus of the soon-to-be-listed Briscoes Group from retailer to landlord. Mr Harvey, who has a personal fortune of more than $A1 billion, has also indicated he would like to own more of Briscoes than the 5 percent stake that it was announced this week he will take when the company lists on the stock exchange later this year.

Evergreen¹s Lost Millions Tracked To Hungary Page 1

When Kiwi investors placed $45 million in funds with New York currency trading firm Evergreen International, they knew they faced the risk of losing money on the rollercoaster foreign exchange market. What they didn¹t know was that the money was funnelled to a Hungarian broking house and likely not traded on their behalf. Even more bizarrely, the foreign exchange dealer in charge of their investments, didn¹t know what was going on either. According to a lawsuit filed in New York, Mamed Mekhtiev, the currency dealer, believed he was successfully trading clients¹ money on foreign exchange, but in fact the deals were not being executed.

Fisher And Paykel Hires Specialist To Hive Hill & Stewart Page 8

Fisher & Paykel has engaged an ³independent specialist² to find a buyer for its share of the Hill & Stewart appliance chain. Gary Paykel, in his final week as chief executive before taking up the role of executive chairman of the group, confirmed the sale of Hill & Stewart is ³moving forward². The process has been handed over to a consultant, who is handling it on an arms-length basis, and will report back to Mr Paykel once all the options have been examined.

Nestle, Coke & Fonterra Courted As Frucor Buyers Page 4

Global food and drink giants Nestle and Coca-Cola are being courted as the battle hots up to find a competing buyer for beverages group Frucor. The global dairy group Fonterra is also looking at whether its joint ventures with Nestle¹ could incorporate some of Frucor¹s operations. So far though, brokerage firm CS First Boston has been unable to secure firm expressions of interest from anyone wanting to make a bid for Frucor to compete with an offer already on the table from France¹s Groupe Danone.

Morel & Co Sets Up Auckland Office Page 10

Technology venture capital company Morel & Co has expanded its operations by opening a new office this week in Auckland. The Wellington-based company has shifted one staff member, Matthew McMahon, to the new premises in the suburb of Parnell, and is recruiting to replace him. ³From Wellington we have been doing business all over the country and we have been talking about moving up to Auckland for three years. We were reluctant to do it because we didn¹t want to have someone specialising in the ŒAuckland market¹ when actually there is a Œtechnology market,¹² said founder Jenny Morel.

Grant Fox In Scrum For Signage Contract Page 2 Three internationally-backed sports business groups are lining up to fight it out for the right to ground signage contracts at Auckland Rugby, a move that could presage a technological revolution in the signage at grounds throughout the country. Carnegie Sports Management NZ, chaired and partly owned by All Black legend Grant Fox, is the incumbent, and the leader in ground signage in the country. Up against him is Sporting Frontiers, headed by former NZ cricket head Chris Doig, and SportsWorld Media. All three have substantial international backing in the lucrative world of sports marketing.

Auckland City Acused Of Racism And Bias By Onyx Page 3

Auckland City Council has been labeled xenophobic and biased by a company that unsuccessfully tendered to collect rubbish in the Queen City. The council faces claims of more than $10 million by the rejected tenderer, French-based multinational waste-management firm Onyx Group. As reported by the NZ Business Times last week, the city council trash tenders are also being investigated by the Commerce Commission, which is concerned that some businesses might have colluded to unfairly win the $100-million worth of garbage business.

Weta Wins Contracts For Merchandise Page 1

First there was Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf ­ now the special effects wizards behind Lord Of The Rings are turning their attention to Kermit and Miss Piggy. And James Bond might not be too far around corner. Weta Workshop, the Wellington-based company which is creating all the effects for the Tolkien trilogy, is diversifying into merchandising and has formed a joint venture with California-based collectibles specialist Sideshow.

ENDS

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