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

 

Cushing family's H&G to buy 2.2% Wrightson stake from Agria

Cushing family's H&G to buy 2.2% Wrightson stake from Agria


By Paul McBeth

April 1 (BusinessDesk) - The Cushing family's H&G vehicle has agreed to buy a 2.2 percent stake in rural services firm PGG Wrightson from Agria Corp. for $8.3 million.

H&G has agreed to pay 49 cents a share for 17 million Wrightson shares, matching Friday's closing price. Agria owns 351.6 million shares, or 46.6 percent of the rural services firm, having divested a 7.2 percent holding in December when Ngāi Tahu Capital withdrew from a seven-year pooling arrangement with Agria and Chinese agribusiness New Hope International.

The Cushings and Agria agreed to the sale on March 29. The transaction will settle either five days after Agria confirms its bankers will let it sell, or 15 business days from the date of the agreement, according to a notice lodged with the NZX.

If the banks don't agree to the deal within 20 working days, the agreement can be terminated by either party.

The transaction includes Agria's entitlement to the upcoming dividend of 7.5 cents per share on April 5.

H&G was the 11th biggest Wrightson shareholder with almost 3.1 million shares, or 0.4 percent of the company as at March 22. Its portfolio also controls Hastings-based farm manager Rural Equities, with a 64 percent stake.

Last month, Agria and its executive chairman Alan Lai, a former Wrightson chair, were fined $220,000 and ordered to pay $30,000 in costs after breaching good character conditions imposed by the Overseas Investment Office.

As part of the settlement with the OIO, Agria agreed to reduce its interest in Wrightson below 50 percent, which it did when Ngāi Tahu took direct ownership of its stake.

Last year, Agria and executive chair Lai settled fraudulent accounting and market manipulation claims brought by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, without admitting or denying the charges.

Agria first bought into Wrightson in 2009, helping bail it out after taking on too much debt in the failed merger with Silver Fern Farms. At the time, the OIO cleared the investment on the grounds that it would create or protect local jobs, boost export receipts, and also included an offer to sell riverbed and foreshore to the Crown.

When Agria set up the joint venture with Ngāi Tahu and New Hope to take control in 2011, the OIO approved it on the grounds that it would boost exports, introduce new technology or business skills to New Zealand, and that the involvement of a key person in an industry of another nation would benefit New Zealand. The earlier investment was also a factor.

The Cushing family has a long track-record with Wrightson. In 2005, H&G sold into a Wrightson takeover of Hawkes Bay-based stock and station agency group Williams and Kettle, and Selwyn Cushing subsequently joined Wrightson's board.

Selwyn Cushing stayed on as a Wrightson director until 2012, overseeing the merger with Pyne Gould Guinness, the aborted Silver Fern Farms deal, and the introduction of Agria as a cornerstone in the business. David Cushing acted as an alternative Wrightson director for Alan Lai in 2010.

(BusinessDesk)

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

The Narrow Divide: New Poll Shows Tight Political Race For SME Votes

In a major turnaround following nearly a decade of MYOB election polls, Labour is currently the preferred political party of New Zealand’s SMEs, with 38% of SME owners and decision makers intending to vote red in the upcoming General Election, ... More>>

Reserve Bank: Further Easing In Monetary Policy Delivered

Tēnā koutou katoa, welcome all. The Monetary Policy Committee agreed to expand the Large Scale Asset Purchase (LSAP) programme up to $100 billion so as to further lower retail interest rates in order to achieve its remit. The eligible assets remain ... More>>

Retail: Post-Lockdown Retail Card Spending Picks Up

The rise in retail card spending was boosted by sales of furniture, hardware, and appliances, Stats NZ said today. “For a third consecutive month, card spending on the long-lasting goods (durables) remained at higher levels than last year, after ... More>>


Contact: Business Drops, New Generation On Hold

New Zealand’s second-largest energy company Contact Energy (‘Contact’) released its full year financial results for the 12 months to 30 June 2020 (‘FY20’) this morning. More>>

Mining: OceanaGold Announces Receipt Of WKP Mining Permit

MELBOURNE, Australia, Aug. 6, 2020 /CNW/ - OceanaGold Corporation (TSX: OGC) (ASX: OGC) (the 'Company') is pleased to announce it has received the mining permit for Wharekirauponga ('WKP') on the North Island of New Zealand. ... More>>

ALSO:

Economy: COVID-19 Lockdown Has Widespread Effects On Labour Market

In the June 2020 quarter, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.0 percent, down from 4.2 percent last quarter, while underutilisation rose, Stats NZ said today. More>>

ALSO:

NZ Post: New Research By NZ Post Shows Online Shopping Grew 105% In Alert Level 3

New research by NZ Post into how the COVID-19 response has impacted the way Kiwis shop online, shows online shopping increased 105%* when the country moved into Alert Level 3, and may have changed the way Kiwis shop permanently. Online spend peaked ... More>>

ALSO:

Antarctica NZ: Ice-Olation

Antarctica New Zealand is gearing up for a much reduced season on the ice this year and a very different deployment to normal! Before they head to one of the remotest places on the planet, all personnel flying south with the New Zealand programme will ... More>>

ALSO:

QV Valuations: July House Price Index Illustrates Market Resilience

According to the July 2020 QV House Price Index (HPI) results out today , property values recorded a marginal increase, up 0.2% over the month. This is somewhat of a turnaround from June, after the national index edged 0.2% lower. More>>

ALSO:

Property: Queenstown Rents Experience Biggest Drop In Seven Years

Rental prices in the Queenstown-Lakes district saw the biggest annual percentage drop in seven years after falling 28 per cent on June last year, according to the latest Trade Me Rental Price Index. Trade Me Property spokesperson Aaron Clancy said ... More>>

Seismology: The Quiet Earth

As many daily activities came to a halt during lockdown, the Earth itself became quiet, probably quieter than it has been since humans developed the technology to listen in. Seismologists have analysed datasets from more than 300 international ... More>>

RNZ: James Shaw Says Kiwibank, Not Ministers Should Decide On Investors

Climate Change Minister James Shaw says Kiwibank's decision to stop doing business with companies dealing in fossil fuels is the right one. More>>

ALSO:

FMA: Kiwis Confident Financial Markets Will Recover From COVID-19, Plan To Increase Investments

Despite the majority (60%) of investors experiencing losses as a result of COVID-19, the outlook on investing remains positive, according to a Financial Markets Authority (FMA) survey. Most Kiwis (71%) were optimistic that the pandemic will pass eventually ... More>>

FIRST Union: Warehouse Using Covid For Cover As Extensive Restructure Makes Everyone Worse Off

(FIRST Union comments on The Warehouse consultation and proposed restructure) 'Unfortunately the Warehouse have done the disappointing thing and used Covid-19 to justify a bunch of operational business decisions that will leave hundreds of workers without jobs ... More>>

ALSO: