1 Dec 2017

Xero challenged over quitting NZ sharemarket

1:27 pm on 1 December 2017

The battle lines are being drawn over accounting software company Xero's decision to quit the NZX sharemarket next year.

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Photo: RNZ

Xero announced the decision last month, saying it earns most of its money outside of New Zealand and needs a bigger capital market to attract new investors to fund its expansion.

But fund manager Milford Asset Management is the latest to challenge Xero's move.

It has written to the stock exchange, asking that Xero be required to hold a shareholders meeting, as its decision undermined the rights of New Zealand shareholders.

Head of investments Brian Gaynor said the decision had affected the value of the Xero shares it held.

"We strongly believe that they should be going to shareholders to get the approval and this is one of the few situations where we think that shareholder approval is required," he said.

But Xero chief executive Rod Drury said the issue had already been settled with shareholders and the NZX.

"What he (Gaynor) seems to be saying is that our corporate strategy should be dictated by the mandate of a small New Zealand fund that doesn't own that much of us," he said.

Xero plans to remain a New Zealand company with headquarters in Wellington, but will delist at the end of January.

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