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Pyne Gould Clayton's takeover bid not a backdoor listing plan

By Nicholas Bryant

Friday 24th November 2000

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SAM MALING
After two years waiting for cashed-up shell company South Eastern Utilities to make a new investment many of its shareholders are flabbergasted at news a lame-duck takeover bid has come from majority owner Pyne Gould Corporation.

Some believe the $1.07 a share offer from Pyne Gould Corporation shortchanges them.

Pyne Gould, a rural services company, owns 50.2% of South Eastern Utilities and has offered to buy the remaining 49.7% for 2c less the stock's fair net-tangible-asset value which is expected to be about $1.09 a share when the offer closes on or about January 16.

It would be a $600,000 discount for Pyne Gould.

South Eastern Utilities (SEU) has been a cash shell since selling its Wairarapa electricity assets in March 1999 with total cash reserves of nearly $68 million.

SEU directors publicly announced in September they had identified three investment "possibilities" and were due to make an announcement soon.

The company had also indicated that if no suitable investments were found, the money would be returned to shareholders.

Pyne Gould Corporation chairman Sam Maling said despite some good criteria SEU simply was not able to find a suitable option and his company had always said its investment in SEU was under review.

"This is not a backdoor listing for Pyne Gould Corporation. We are merely considering our options at the moment," Mr Maling said.

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