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GPG says Coats performing ahead of last year

Wednesday 8th June 2011

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Guinness Peat Group (GPG) said its major investment Coats Plc performed ahead of last year in the first quarter of 2011 and it continued to look at ways of selling the thread maker.

GPG, the investment company run by Sir Ron Brierley, today updated shareholders at the annual meeting in Auckland on how the company is to be dismantled and the money returned to shareholders.

Chairman Rob Campbell told the meeting it was possible that the investment portfolio may be reduced to the point where Coats became the sole investment retained by GPG.

He said that there had been good progress in the disposal of investments up to June 3, and assets were sold at an overall surplus to the end-of-year values in the last audited accounts.

The board was focused on getting value from the assets and cash proceeds would be used to make future returns of capital to shareholders, having regard to the actual and contingent liabilities.

"As the market is aware one of our largest investments, Turners and Growers, which had a very strong year in 2010, has commenced a strategic review to identify the best options for the business," Campbell said.

"This asset in our view is a great deal more valuable than is currently recognised in its share price, and it is by no means alone in this respect amongst our holdings."

GPG continued to evaluate alternatives for realising value for Coats and a new incentive plan would appropriately incentivise Coats management to maximise the value of Coats for the benefit of GPG shareholders.

Coats chief executive Paul Forman made a presentation to the meeting.



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