Diversified investment company Hellaby Holdings says it's reviewing its cash-rich balance sheet with a view to returning capital to shareholders, although that depends on how many businesses it manages to buy over the next year or so.
The outgoing chief executive, John Williamson, told shareholders at the annual meeting in Auckland yesterday that Hellaby sees good buying opportunities in Australia, which fits in with its investment strategy and provides scale to its three main divisions: automotive, equipment, and oil and gas services.
While some shareholders lamented the planned sale of its shoe business, which includes the Hannahs and Number One Shoes retail stores, Mr Williamson said these businesses were no longer part of the long-term strategy.
He said the downturn in the Australian economy had created a number of good merger and acquisition opportunities.
Mr Williamson, who has now stepped down as Hellaby's chief executive, said he would take a couple of weeks off before considering his next career move.
He will be replaced by Alan Clarke, who is stepping down as the chief executive of Abano Healthcare, at next month's annual meeting.