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Company Briefs

Friday 25th August 2000

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Shell New Zealand applied for Commerce Commission clearance to buy Fletcher Energy but undertook to divest some assets including the Challenge service stations.

National Mail will on Monday launch its service in Wellington, Porirua and the Hutt Valley.

WestpacTrust and Armstrong Jones have formed an alliance under which Armstrong Jones will take over the day-to-day investment and asset allocation decisions for nearly $1.7 billion of WestpacTrust investors' funds. WestpacTrust Investment Management will maintain a research and product management function.

Four senior Tranz Rail executives - group general manager marketing John Moriarty, government relations executive manager Paul Spackman, corporate services executive manager Murray King, and human resources executive manager Steve Voullaire - are leaving as part of the company's strategic review.

The ASB Bank Community Trust's coffers have swelled to $1.09 billion following the sale to Commonwealth Bank of Australia of its remaining 25% stake in ASB Bank. Its annual distributions will rise by $30 million a year.

Biotech researcher Genesis Research and Development Corporation revived plans for a sharemarket float and will offer 5.75 million shares at $6 each. raising $34.5 million for investment in research programmes.

Auckland International Airport flew into a row with airlines after announcing it would raise landing and airport development charges by 19% over three years. A Commerce Commission inquiry will look at the case for price control on airport charges.

Motor technology developer Wellington Drive Technologies plans to list by the end of the year after raising $3.6 million from an institutional share placement. The company now has Axa New Zealand, Guardian Trust, BT Funds Management, and Armstrong Jones on the share register.

Independent Newspapers Ltd put a proposed merger with 49%-owned Sky Network Television on the back boiler as the satellite broadcaster is expected to book losses for the next 12 to 18 months as a result of its expanding digital business.

Software developer CommSoft Group is forecasting a $A3.98 million June 2001 year net profit ahead of its September 13 listing on the New Zealand and Australian stock exchanges.

Guinness Peat Group is offering £48.9 million ($167 million) for the 70.1% of Britain's Staveley Industries it does not already own.

Brierley Investments said its ailing Australian appliance retail unit, Vox Retail Group, had sold a further 65 stores to Betta Stores Ltd, leaving 36 to sell. It had already sold 22 stores to Harvey Norman.

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