15 Aug 2008

High Court pressure sought for meat merger talks

6:03 am on 15 August 2008

The Meat Industry Action Group has gone to the High Court to put pressure on the Silver Fern Farms meat co-operative to reopen merger negotiations with Alliance.

MIAG is asking the Court to order Silver Fern to call a special general meeting of farmer shareholders to consider resolutions aimed at getting both co-ops back to the negotiating table after the collapse of earlier merger talks.

Alliance will hold a special general meeting on 5 September .

However, group chairman John Gregan says Silver Fern won't commit itself to a date until after 8 September.

That's when the company is holding a special general meeting to obtain its shareholders' verdict on a proposed partnership with the rural servicing company, PGG Wrightson.

Mr Gregan says Silver Fern appears to have put the group's request on the back burner.

However, Silver Fern disputes any suggestion of this. Chairman Eoin Garden says it's already agreed to hold a meeting immediately following the special general meeting on 8 September, irrespective of the outcome of the vote on the partnership proposal.

He says the group's court action is an unnecessary waste of time and money.