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Michael Hill outlines 'succession plan' to give 5% each to daughter Emma, son Mark

Thursday 23rd June 2016

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Michael Hill, the founder of the jewellery chain that bears his name, has outlined what is described as a "succession plan" for his family's controlling stake in the company, with 10 percent of the company to be transferred to trusts for daughter Emma and son Mark.

The restructuring would see the family's holding through the Boxer Hill Trust reduce to 42.89 percent from 52.89 percent, while trusts established for the two children of Michael and Christine Hill would get 5 percent each.

The changes are contingent on the company's shareholders approving a scheme of arrangement at a special meeting today that would see a new Australian parent acquire all of the existing shares on a one-for-one basis with a primary listing on the ASX. Australia is Michael Hill International's biggest market and its financial reports are in Australian dollars.

Subject to shareholder approval, the shares will go into a trading halt tomorrow, with the conversion of shares to those of the new Australian parent to take place at 6pm Brisbane time on June 29. The existing shares would delist from the NZX at the market close on July 6 and the new shares, which will be listed on the ASX and the NZX, would begin trading on July 7.

Emma Hill, who is company chair, said in April that the move to Australia over time "will provide the company with direct access to a wider group of investors than we currently enjoy and we believe this will be to the benefit of all of our shareholders. On a day-to-day basis, we will have all of our governance, executive and business operations operating in one jurisdiction and this will considerably simplify our structure.”

Michael Hill shares last traded at $1.15 and have gained 16 percent this year. The stock is rated a 'buy' based on the consensus of three analysts polled by Reuters.

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