22 Aug 2008

High Court action withdrawn

6:52 am on 22 August 2008

The Meat Industry Action Group has withdrawn High Court action against Silver Fern Farms after reaching agreement with the company on arrangements to consider fresh merger moves in the meat industry.

Last week, the group applied to the High Court for an order committing Silver Fern to holding a special general meeting of shareholders as soon as possible to discuss resolutions aimed at getting Silver Fern and the other meat co-operative, Alliance, back into merger talks.

Silver Fern subsequently announced it would hold the meeting on 7 October, a month after another special meeting to decide on a proposal to make PGG Wrightson a 50% partner in the co-operative.

MIAG still had issues with the company's meeting plans, but chairman John Gregan says it's now sorted them out.

Alliance will consider the group's resolutions on 5 September.

But chairman Owen Poole says there is no attraction so far for the company to enter a merger with Silver Fern, if it's restructured into a "hybrid co-operative" with PGG Wrightson.

He also says a merger of Silver Fern and Alliance into a "national champion" meat company, is going a step too far.