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Pyne Gould Corp plans to exit NZ, seek London listing

Thursday 14th November 2013

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Pyne Gould Corp, the asset management firm controlled by George Kerr, plans to exit New Zealand and shift its listing to the London Stock Exchange in the first half of next year, saying it offers better growth prospects.

The company is in the process of selling its remaining New Zealand assets, which make up $4.8 million of a total $151.8 million of assets, and expects to continue expanding its investments from its new location, it said in a statement. The move is supported by Kerr, who owns about three quarters of the company, and will be voted on at the company’s annual meeting to be held this year.

“PGC’s performance has improved markedly as the focus has shifted away from New Zealand – where we have divested almost all our assets – to Australia and the United Kingdom where we already hold substantial existing investments and in the case of the United Kingdom and Europe, offer the most attractive growth prospects,” chairman Bryan Mogridge said in the statement. “This move will help to expand the company, grow shareholder value and provide shareholders with opportunities for improved liquidity.”

Pyne Gould Corp. has sold non-core assets and turned its focus to its Torchlight Investment Group, which aims to buy undervalued assets by targeting distressed debt situations.

The company plans to shift its base from Auckland to Guernsey, a British Channel Island often described as a tax haven, before the end of this year.

A London listing would increase the company’s profile with potential new investors who are familiar with its strategy targeting distressed assets, which is likely to broaden the shareholder base and improve share liquidity, potentially moving the company’s share price closer to its net tangible asset value, PGC said.

Meanwhile, the company intends to establish an on-market share buyback programme on the New Zealand stock exchange to acquire as much as 5 percent of its shares from Nov. 20, in the belief the successful execution of its strategy hasn’t been reflected in the market price of its shares.

Shares in Pyne Gould Corp. last traded at 43 cents, having gained 65 percent so far this year.

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