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Minority TTP shareholder seeks buyout

By Chris Hutching

Friday 21st February 2003

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A Christchurch minority shareholder was due yesterday to file a claim in the High Court seeking an order requiring SEA Holdings to buy out minority shareholders at asset value.

John Powell and his company Latimer Holdings hold 3% of TTP and are plaintiffs in the action against TTP and SEA Holdings, which are first and second defendants. TTP has been one of the poorest performing sharemarket stocks in recent years, prompting a call last year from investment company GPG for directors to wind up the company. But SEA defeated the proposals and the TTP board announced a new property development on a $12 million parcel of land near Auckland Airport.

Now Mr Powell wants the court to order SEA Holdings, 54% shareholder and effective controller of TTP since 1995, to buy out the minority shareholders at the asset backing of 55c a share.

Mr Powell said his action would benefit all minority shareholders and the case has a strong chance of success. Often, majority shareholders could get away with oppressive behaviour because minorities seldom had the resources to tackle them. He estimated it could cost several hundred thousand dollars and might set a precedent. During the six years SEA has controlled TTP the asset backing of the shares has nearly halved to 55c a share while the NZSE Property Gross Index has grown 12%. The share price has languished at around 29c a share.

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