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Montana Chairman’s Takeover Plea ‘Pathetic’

The Montana Chairman's call to bring in the "one size fits all" takeover code early is pathetic, ACT Commerce Spokesman Stephen Franks said.

“He is demanding that his rugby game be changed to touch the first time he's tackled. To cover his embarrassment he wants tackling outlawed for every one else, over-riding all their earlier choices of the more rewarding code.

“All NZ listed companies have had the option to require English/Australian equal offer and compulsory bid procedures since 1993. They can do it now, with shareholder approval. 11 listed companies chose that touch rugby option. Most of the rest chose the US style option, which essentially allows big shareholders the same freedom as small shareholders, to sell to whoever they want, whenever they want, at whatever price they freely agree.

“The Listing Rules gave, and still give, small shareholders a power to veto any option the big shareholders might want to force on them, and vice versa. As far as I know, Montana directors recommended the option they are now under. Indeed, in no company did the shareholders vote down a director proposal to adopt the compulsory bid/equal offer option. In only one company was there even the beginnings of a deadlock.

“I can understand, though not condone, left politicians talking ignorantly about "Wild West" even though the freedom they deplore is standard in the US. But it would be especially sickening if, halfway through a game, business leaders start screaming that it was touch rugby, or even soccer, they really meant. They have always been free to choose. They did choose the code applying at present,” Stephen Franks said.


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