Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


RESEND: Alliance shareholders confident of forcing meeting

RESEND: Alliance shareholders confident of forcing meeting on merger

(Fixes names in third paragraph)

By Fiona Rotherham

July 3 (BusinessDesk) - Disgruntled Alliance Group shareholders say they hope to have the support from 5 percent of their number within the next 10 days that's required to force a special meeting to discuss the potential benefits and risks of a merger with Silver Fern Farms.

Last week Silver Fern Farms shareholders crossed the 5 percent threshold to force a special meeting of their meat cooperative to vote on seeking a full analysis of the benefits and risks of merging with Alliance, along with a comprehensive risk mitigation plan, verified by an independent firm.

Gaye Cowie, a rural accountant and farmer who along with Balfour farmer Jeff Grant pushed for the Alliance special meeting, said they’ve had good feedback from other shareholders in the past few days since launching the campaign. She wants to attract support from 5 percent of shareholders, or 3.5 million shares, within the next 10 days to two weeks, the same time period it took to force the Silver Fern Farms meeting.

“If it doesn’t stack up, it doesn’t but as shareholders we need to understand why. Farmers are ready for a change because it’s not looking very good for the future of the sheep-meat industry. Our generation has to improve things for the next generation,” Cowie said.

Alliance has consistently said it can’t see benefit in merging with the debt-laden SFF. As at the end of last year, SFF’s debt had been cut to $288.6 million from $387.6 million the previous year and it’s currently trying to raise $100 million of new capital.

Meat industry reform group Meat Industry Excellence (MIE), is still pushing its plan for a new export meat cooperative that would park the debts of the two big farmer-owned co-operatives into a “bad bank”. The good equity would be put into a “good bank” and the two cooperatives merged into a new company.

Cowie said the meat companies can’t afford to stay stuck in the past and wants the Alliance board to state its long-term strategy to shareholders and give them the opportunity to show support for an independent assessment of the business case for amalgamation.

Any votes made at either special meeting won’t be binding on the meat companies’ boards but Cowie said “they need to listen to what shareholders want.”

A date has yet to be set for the Silver Fern Farms special meeting and the company said today that the meeting won’t have any more information available to consider analysis or risk mitigation of the proposed merger.

“Only if the resolution is passed at the meeting and if the board elects to act on it, would the board then undertake and provide the further analysis sought, subject to the normal bounds of commercial confidentiality,” it said in a statement.

It also rejected claims by Otago farmer Allan Richardson who gathered the required votes for the meeting, that the board hadn’t yet investigated the potential gains of $100 million per annum tabled in MIE’s March report on industry restructure.

“The company has reviewed in detail, and done so a number of times, the costs and benefits of industry consolidation, including those related to a potential merger with Alliance. A merger requires the willing participation of all affected parties,” it said.

“While the costs and benefits of potential rationalisation opportunities can, and have been estimated, if the opportunities remain unconsummated then the analysis is moot,” the company said.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Auckland Transport: Successful Bridge Repair Opens Two Additional Lanes To Traffic

The opening of two additional lanes on the Auckland Harbour Bridge this morning will help relieve some motorway congestion for motorists heading home to the North Shore tonight. More>>


Statistics New Zealand: COVID-19 Sees Record 12.2 Percent Fall In New Zealand’s Economy

Gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 12.2 percent in the June 2020 quarter, the largest quarterly fall recorded since the current series began in 1987, as the COVID-19 restrictions in place through the quarter impacted economic activity, Stats NZ said ... More>>


Climate: Scientists Release ‘Blueprint’ To Save Critical Ecosystems And Stabilize The Earth’s Climate

A group of scientists and experts produced the first comprehensive global-scale analysis of terrestrial areas essential for biodiversity and climate resilience, totaling 50.4% of the Earth's land. The report was published in Science Advances ... More>>


MPI: Independent Review Launched Into Assurances For Safe Transport Of Livestock By Sea

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has launched an independent review of the assurances it receives for the safe transport of livestock by sea. MPI Director-General Ray Smith says Mike Heron QC has been appointed to lead the review, which is expected ... More>>


Computers: New Zealand PC Market Grows Nearly 40% Due To Work From Home Demand

COVID-19 had large impacts on demand for PCs as businesses prepared for lockdowns by purchasing notebooks to mobilise their workforce. In the second quarter of 2020, New Zealand's Traditional PC market experienced a 39.7% year-on-year (YoY) growth ... More>>


University Of Auckland: Whale-Watching By Satellite – Follow Their Travels Online

Scientists have successfully attached satellite tracking tags to six New Zealand southern right whales, or tohorā, and are inviting the public to follow the whales’ travels online. Part of a major research project involving the University of Auckland ... More>>

Commerce Commission: Kiwibank Admits System Failures And Agrees To Pay Customers $5.2 Million

Kiwibank has entered into a settlement agreement with the Commerce Commission after reporting that it failed to have in place robust home loan variation disclosure policies, procedures and systems. In a settlement dated 27 August 2020, Kiwibank admitted that ... More>>

Ministry of Health: Public Transport Distancing Requirements Relaxed

Physical distancing requirements on public transport have been reviewed by the Ministry of Health to determine whether they are still required at Alert Level 2 (or below). The Ministry’s assessment is that mandatory face covering and individuals tracking ... More>>


NZHIA: New Zealand Hemp Industry Set To Generate $2 Billion Per Annum And Create 20,000 Jobs

A new report says a fully enabled hemp industry could generate $2 billion in income for New Zealand by 2030, while also creating thousands of new jobs. Written by industry strategist Dr Nick Marsh, the report has prompted calls from the New Zealand Hemp ... More>>


Stats NZ: One In 14 Employed People Report High Risk Of Losing Jobs

About one in 14 workers say they expect to lose their job or business by mid-2021, Stats NZ said today. A survey of employed people in the June 2020 quarter showed 7 percent felt there was a high or almost certain chance of losing their job or business ... More>>

ASB Quarterly Economic Forecast: NZ Economy Doing Better Than Expected, But Challenges Remain

August lockdown estimated to have shaved 8% off NZ’s weekly GDP, and 0.5% off annual GDP Economy now expected to shrink 5% (year-on-year) by end of 2020 Unemployment rate now expected to peak at 7.2% The latest ASB Quarterly Economic Forecast is less ... More>>