18 Nov 2013

Small Pyne Gould shareholders may get voice

7:07 am on 18 November 2013

The stock exchange could force Pyne Gould to give its minority shareholders a say in whether the company delists from the NZX.

Pyne Gould is planning to delist from the New Zealand exchange, to move its head office to the tax haven of Guernsey and to list on the London Stock Exchange's main board.

The company's plans already need shareholder approval but the company's 76.3% shareholder, which is controlled by businessman George Kerr and associates, intends to vote in favour of the move.

Radio New Zealand's business editor says that means it does not matter what minority shareholders think of the move, unless the stock exchange decides to intervene.

Its listing rules allow the NZX to make delisting dependent on the approval of ordinary shareholders, who each own less than 10% of the company's shares.

That would mean anybody owning more than 10% of the shares - in this case Mr Kerr and his associates - would not be allowed to vote.

According to its latest annual report, no other Pyne Gould shareholders own as much as 10% and nearly 2000 of them own less than 50,000 shares. There are 216.6 million Pyne Gould shares on issue.

About 99.4% of the company's shareholders lived in New Zealand on 2 September.