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Aspinall Restores Balance To ChCh Casino Board

Press Release By Aspinall (Nz) Limited
23 December 2003


Aspinall (NZ) Limited announced today that the balance of power on the board of the Christchurch Casino has been restored. This follows the purported removal of Mr Arthur Pitcher as a director and managing director of Christchurch Casino on 12 December in a board meeting called on one hour’s notice by the Chairman, Barry Thomas, because of “shareholder issues”. Mr Thomas is also the Chairman of Skyline Enterprises, which has previously negotiated to buy Aspinall’s stake in the business.

Aspinall asked for assurances from Mr Thomas restoring the status quo on Wednesday 17 December. When these assurances were not forthcoming, Aspinall issued legal proceedings in the Christchurch High Court seeking interim orders to preserve the balance of power on the Christchurch Casino board pending a substantive hearing. The position of Mr Pitcher has now been resolved by negotiation between the parties on an interim basis, with Mr Pitcher remaining as both director and managing director of Christchurch Casinos Limited.

UK-based Aspinall director James Osborne said today “Aspinall is happy that Mr Pitcher has been restored to the Managing Director role. The parties have asked the Court for an urgent substantive hearing to finally resolve all issues”. Any hearing is likely to occur some time in the New Year.

ENDS

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