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Ron Brierley lifts stake in Kirkcaldie to 5.7%, shares reach 21-month high

Tuesday 13th September 2011

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Former Guinness Peat Group chairman Ron Brierley has emerged as a substantial holder of shares in upscale Wellington department store Kirkcaldie & Stains, lifting his stake to 5.7%.

Brierley, a former Wellingtonian, paid an average $2.85 a share for 128,141 shares, or 1.3% of the company on Sept. 9, according to a notice to the NZX today. The shares last traded at $3, giving Brierley an immediate paper profit of $19,221. The stock last reached $3 in January 2010 and topped that level in February 2008.

In July, Brierley lifted his stake in ASX-listed India Equities Fund to 14.8%, suggesting he may be seeking a new vehicle for investments.

Brierley’s emergence as a substantial holder of Kirkcaldie comes after another seasoned investor, former Brierley Investments chairman Selwyn Cushing and his son David Cushing, lifted their family’s stake to 17.1%.

At the time, David Cushing told BusinessDesk that he was attracted to the retailer’s “prime Lambton Quay real estate”, quality management and status as an iconic retailer.

Kirkcaldie owns the Harbour City Centre, a historic-six-floor retail and office building next door that is currently being earthquake strengthened. Property contributed EBITDA of $1.6 million in the first half, more than four times the earnings from retailing.

Cushing said while H&G’s holding was creeping toward the 20% level above which a full takeover could be triggered, the investment company wasn’t in a hurry to move higher, and the stock was relatively illiquid.


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