Whimp at it again as shareholders get low-ball offer for kiwi companies
Dec. 29 (BusinessDesk) – Bernard Whimp, a businessman who offers to buy securities at low-ball prices by making a direct approach to investors, appears to have mounted a new campaign over the Christmas-New Year season to buy leading New Zealand stocks.
Investors say they’ve received mailed offers to buy their shares from a range of limited partnerships including Energy Services and Fairfield Securities. Whimp is listed as a partner in both vehicles, which were registered on Dec.17. His address is listed as 93 Liverpool St in Sydney, of which there are several listed on Google maps.
NZX Markets Supervision said it has been informed of offers to buy shares in Fletcher Building, Telecom, Nuplex Industries, Guinness Peat Group., Contact Energy and Vector. It referred those approached to a Securities Commission warning which says while such offers are not illegal it is against the law to mislead or deceive investors into accepting an offer.
“Shareholders should take time to compare the market price of their securities, via nzx.com, with the unsolicited offer price they have received before making any decisions to sell their securities,” NZX Market Supervision said in a statement.
Whimp had some success snapping up shares of DNZ Property Fund Ltd., buying 2.2 million shares at 60 cents apiece in August. Those shares most recently traded at $1.18.
The offers expire on Jan. 7, three days before the Securities Commission is due to re-open after its Christmas break.
Whimp’s use of limited partnerships raised the ire of government officials earlier this year, who have been looking at ways to block banned directors from circumventing disqualification.
He was banned from being a company director for four years in October 2006 after the deputy Companies Registrar found he was linked to the mismanagement of at least two failed companies. In 2003, his contributory mortgage business, General Mortgages, was placed under statutory management by the Securities Commission.