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Southern Cross depositors support merger

Southern Cross depositors support merger/h3>

By Paul McBeth

Dec. 7 (BusinessDesk) – Southern Cross Building Society investors holding almost 83% of the lender’s deposits voted in favour of the bid to link up with Pyne Gould Corp.’s Marac unit and Canterbury Building Society.

The vote came after last month’s meeting failed to meet a quorum and today’s tick means only CBS and Marac debenture holders are left to give the deal approval. It already has the support of Marac unitholders, and shareholders in PGC, CBS and SCBS.

“It is very gratifying that our depositors have voted in favour of what is the most important resolution in our society’s history,” chairman Geoff Ricketts said in a statement. “While depositors holding only 21.98% of our total deposits voted at today’s meeting, feedback from our branch network to date indicates that many of our depositors support the merger but for one reason or another have not voted.”

Because the mergers involve mutual societies, the bid needed approval from from depositors, and stock and bond holders. Marac and the two building societies failed to reach quorums at their depositor meetings, and under their constitutions, the second meetings only required two depositors needed to be present.

If the merger is successful, it’s expected to be completed next month, with a listing on the NZX flagged for February.

The ultimate goal is to achieve a banking licence, which would make it the only locally controlled bank on the stock exchange.


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