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Heartland bank a big tick closer

Heartland bank a big tick closer

By Pattrick Smellie

Nov. 26 (BusinessDesk) – Shareholders of Pyne Gould Corp. have approved the proposal that will turn their finance company, Marac Finance Ltd., into 71% of a new, NZX-listed “heartland” bank.

The resolution, which required approval by at least 50% of the votes cast by PGC shareholders, was supported by 99.86% of those who voted and follows “yes” votes already from the members of the Canterbury Building Society and Southern Cross Building Society.

CBS and SCBS will make up 14.5% apiece of the new bank, which is planned to come into existence on from Jan. 1 before listing in February, and has yet to be named.

“All shareholders of the merging parties have now given their support to the proposal to create a New Zealand listed banking(1) and financial services group through merging MARAC, CBS and SCBS,” said PGC chairman Bruce Irvine. “This is a significant endorsement of the strategic direction we have taken and brings us one step closer to it becoming a reality.”

Because the mergers involve mutual societies, approvals must also be gained from depositors, and stock and bond holders.

However, as anticipated, meetings called to gain approval from CBS and SCBS depositors had not reached a quorum. Under their constitutions, second meetings will now be called at which only two depositors need be present.

The adjourned meeting for SCBS depositors will be held on Dec. 7, for Marac stockholders on Dec. 8. In anticipation that today’s CBS depositors’ meeting would also adjourn for lack of a quorum, a provisional date of Dec. 10 has been earmarked for the adjourned meeting.

“The adjournments of the depositor and stockholder meetings for want of quorum are not unusual and have been allowed for in the planning process, and as such will not affect the proposed merger date of Jan. 7,” the company said in a statement to the NZX.

PGC shares are steady at 39 cents.


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